Sir Tim and BT opt-in
Hearing Sir Tim's interview on the 8 o'clock news on Radio 4 sure brightened my day this morning. Looking at the article on Beeb's site indicates that he was only talking about the ISP's profiling in the UK and that he is not yet aware of how much profiling is already happening in America and all around the globe.
Any chance of El Reg getting an interview with Sir Tim and finding out his views on the US, Canada, EU, UK, Asia, Australia profiling which is already happening (NebuAd, FrontPorch, Adzilla, etc): mostly with no more notification than a change to the T&Cs on the ISPs' web sites or pop-up T&Cs when using hot-spots via wi-fi.
It is a relief to see that BT are looking to follow the opt-in only option. Oh to be the fly-on-the-wall to know if that is in response to Sir Tim's comment on privacy or the complete failure of getting enough people to accept Webwise during trials (assuming the stories of trials over the last several days are true). Or the threat of legal action?
I do have questions about opt-in though.
Assuming that they 'hard wire' an opt-in IP address to the profiler. The user is happy opted in for some time. Then decides to opt out while viewing same sites - web mail, banking, forum, etc. Once that surfing is finished, some time later visits a site which reminds the user that they are opted out.
Is there a time lag for 'opt-ins' between opting out and the cessation of data passing through the profiler?
If the user decides to stay opted out, will they continue to be bombarded with reminders that they need to opt back in?
Will the profilers be able to read and obey a meta tag banning them from parsing the content - again, will the ISPs be offering webmasters a grant for the added cost of installing this code in all their pages?
Life would be so much simpler if the ISPs decided that the profilers are just too much bother and are going to cost much more in maintenance, overheads and legal battles than they are ever likely to earn in ad revenue.