How To: BlueKai, Online Tracking, and Your Privacy

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BlueKai is an online marketing firm that provides data to marketers, ad networks and publishers. This data is used to target ads to consumers.

This information that BlueKai gathers is considered “anonymous” because it identifies web browsers, not individuals. However, because they gather data from multiple sources, it’s easy for them to build a very detailed profile of each user. Some people think that this detailed profile is a privacy risk.

BlueKai and other online advertisers are able to track users almost entirely by cookies and beacons. Both of these things let companies see what parts of a page the user has clicked on.

Advertisers and data collectors have established relationships with many websites which allows them to follow a user around the Internet. Over time, companies are then able to build detailed profiles of the user’s interests.

Since the online advertising industry is almost entirely self-regulated, right now there are almost no limits on how this data can be used.

How to Stop Tracking or Opt-Out

Cookies are managed by your web browser. You can set your web browser to not accept third-party cookies or to automatically delete cookies when the browser is closed. You can also opt out of being tracked by publishers, advertisers or data collectors and exchanges by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative’s opt-out page as well as BlueKai.

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Jared Howe

Jared Howe is PRIVATE WiFi’s Senior Manager, Product Marketing Communications. Working in high tech for over 15 years, Jared currently lives in Seattle with his wife, daughter, and their two cats.