Tracking Shoppers On & Offline

Concern over new surveillance software
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 10, 2007 4:00 AM CST
Internet shoppers will be tracked online - and offline - with new technology by marketing data giant Acxiom Corp
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(Newser) – A marketing data company is blending information about consumer habits online - and offline - to create more accurate and detailed information for advertisers. AP reports Acxiom Corp is bringing to the Internet the consumer profiles and 'life-stage' categories for which it is already well known among direct-mail companies and telemarketers, using a new surveillance program called Relevance-X.

When an Internet user gives a name and address to an online retailer, Acxiom will match it against its records on 130 million households, then tag that computer with an identifying cookie. "It violates average users' expectations," said privacy advocate Ari Schwartz. "It's such a sea change in the way users use information online."