Just by using the Internet, we are supplying the "raw material that helps generate billions of dollars a year in online advertising revenue," Steve Lohr writes in a piece for The New York Times, exploring the emergence of start-up companies aimed at giving users control of their personal information. With everything from online search requests to social network postings being "mined to serve up targeted online ads," a new company is looking at creating economic opportunities for users who share personal information. As one venture capitalist put it, the focus is on "choice and ownership of data and ultimately a notion of an exchange of value." Experts note that the emergence of such companies points to "larger issues about privacy transactions and pricing of personal data." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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