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Web Data Miners Strike it Rich

ONLINE PRIVACY—U.S.

March 11, 2011

In a feature for TIME Magazine, Joel Stein writes of the ways data-mining companies are able to amass rich stores of information about Web users. "I've gathered a bit of the vast amount of data that's being collected both online and off by companies in stealth--taken from the Web sites I look at, the stuff I buy, my Facebook photos, my warranty cards, my customer-reward cards, the songs I listen to online, surveys I was guilted into filling out and magazines I subscribe to," he writes. Stein details what he describes as a multibillion-dollar industry based on consumers' personal information and examines the push at the federal level for regulating the collection, storage and use of such data.
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