Posted by & filed under Collaborative filtering, EXAM ARTICLE, Personalization.

Description: Randi Kaye talks to Eli Pariser about why he says web personalization could have dangerous consequences

Source: CNN .com

Date: Nov 1, 2011

Questions for discussion:

  1. Is collaborative filtering a positive feature for consumers?  explain

2.  List 3 positive and 3 negative consequences of information filtering.

10 Responses to “What the Internet in Hiding From You”

  1. Erin

    Collaborative filtering is at the surface positive to consumers. It is nice to be able to have ads that apply to you, show up on your Facebook page, or at the top of your email, or on the sides of your websearches. In a bad sense for the wallet, it makes it harder not to click on them, or be caught by their advertising. Unfortunately though, collaborative filtering means that they are tracking and storing tons and tons of bytes of information about each user. This informaton, though it can be harmless, can feel a bit intrusive into your privacy, especially because most people are unaware that companies are collecting all of this data. When signing up for a Safeway card, you are giving Safeway permission to track your buying habits. When giving information at a physical store, you are also giving them information in order to track your spending and loyalty habits. This is a lot more obvious to most consumers though, than the fact that companies track how long you linger on a site or over a link before clicking, or what you search for and when. Companies could easily know where you are at any given moment by the information that they can get from the internet, what you are taking in school, where you work, your favorite foods or restaurants, and what your interests and hobbies are. I think that something needs to be done in order to limit the amount and type of information that companies can track without your explicit approval (privacy policies are not enough).

  2. Ivette

    The internet can be used in our favor or against us and information filtering is one of the ways in which this happens. Information filtering can be good because many times we are surrounded by information we are not interested in or don’t care about and by personalizing information, companies such as Yahoo! and Google make to some extent life a little more easy. However, they are accessing our information and our lives and it seems like the internet is taking control over us and there is little or nothing we can do about it because of the dependence we have created. Information personalization and filtering hides reality from us and let us see only what “we want to see” which is not necessarily what we NEED to see all the time. Our minds and the information we have access to are being limited by the internet and we are only perceiving what internet companies want us to perceive. It is scary how the internet can pretty much keep track of our lives and see every movement we make when we are looking for information, or know where we are when we access the web at certain points. It feels like we don’t have privacy anymore and our lives are being shaped without us even noticing.

  3. Helen

    I think that collaborative filtering is positive for consumers because it brings attention to facts and news that interest you personally. There is so much news happening in the world it is sometimes difficult to stay current on everything. Also, there may be things that don’t apply to you personally and so if you are quite busy then it makes sense for you to only look at those things that directly apply to you. It is also important to keep up on the world events now and then so reading a traditional newspaper or watching the evening news would be a good way to do that. It is scary that things are being kept from us withour our knowledge, but I think that is a sacrifice that is made for convenience. We accept that when we use a search engine it is the engine that decides which results we should see as well as what is most relevant to our question. We also accept that by using loyalty cards or point collection cards (air miles) that we are paying for these cards by submitting information about ourselves. Like it or not, the world is increasingly collecting data about us. The important thing is to be aware of the extent to which it is being collected and protecting ourselve from fraud etc.

  4. Meagan

    Collaborative filtering can be both positive and negative to consumers. First of all its is a positive thing because it helps you find information by monitoring other searches you have made. This can make searching the web faster. It also can show you things that you might want to buy and it’s more convenient for you to get them because Google will take you directly to that website or provide an ad on the side of your screen. But for the most part it is negative for consumers. Mainly because it is being done without your consent and that when you are looking for a certain topic, but Google is showing you what it thinks you want and not what you are actually looking for. This can get quiet frustrating for some people who are in hurry and they just want one little piece of information. Another negative thing is that you are getting adds on facebook, or pop ups that you really don’t want to be getting that disrupt you from what you are doing, and can get annoying when they start happening all the time. Last of all this is not just happening on your computers or laptops, but also on your androids or iphones or tablets. Only these tell the internet where you are at this moment and will post it on facebook and tell the whole world where you are. Which is bad because someone will know when you are on holidays and know that the time to break into your house. Or they know where you are so they can find you and harm you. So there are more negative reasons than positive in my opinion on collaborative filtering.

  5. brett pudwell

    1) Which of the following is NOT a positive of internet filtering?
    a) information tailered to you
    b) easier access to information you desire
    c) search results limited to what you might want to see
    d) being able to control what you put out there with social media
    answer c

    2) What can you do to change the filtering you receive on the internet?
    a) change your browsing habits
    b) change the settings in the privacy section
    c) use a different computer
    d) clear your internet history every time you use it
    answer b

  6. Jillian K

    In my opinion collaborative filtering has both positive and negative effects for consumers. It all really depends on whether we look at it from the perspective of more efficient web surfing or invasion of privacy.

    As a consumer, I think that having personalized settings to know exactly what I’m looking for can be viewed as a positive thing for me. We are already spending ridiculous amounts of our free time online. If I can have something making that process more efficient, pointing me directly where I want to go, and therefore allowing me to log off sooner, that is a positive thing for me.

    On the contrary, North Americans specifically but people everywhere seem to be having a giant revolution in terms of privacy and our right to it. The web and all the new technology becoming available to us seems to strip that right away. The fact that my cellphone is sending in my location to further narrow down my mobile internet preferences is mildly terrifying to me to be honest. Is it so important to know our preferences that they need to monitor our every move? To me, this is a negative effect.

  7. Antonio Raho

    Collaborative filtering can be viewed as both a positive or a negative thing for consumers. It is convenient for us to have topics of interest to us show up in the side bars of our internet pages, or on our facebook pages, or to have information that is of interest to us show up when we make a google search. This however is blocking information that we have the right to view. Like the video stated, it’s important for us, as consumers, to be able to hear about the squirrel dying in our front yard as well as the people dying in Africa. I know that personally, if I have just searched something in google and the next thing I see is that same thing appear in my facebook side bar, that I personally never click on those advertisements. I am not comfortable with everything that I search becoming a shared piece of information. I also believe that the filtration that occurs on the internet is just another way for the internet and other organizations to control things that we see, eliminating our freedom in some ways. Is it necessary that these corporations know everything about us to supposedly know what is of greater interest to us? No. I believe that these companies are eliminating a vast majority of public information to us as consumers, not because they are showing information that is of greater relevance to us, but because they want us to turn a blind eye to the reality of some components of our world.

  8. Destiny S

    Collaborative filtering is a process whereby information is ‘filtered’ based on very large data sets. This data is typically user data. An example of this would be the advertisements shown on most free, web-based e-mail servers. These advertisements are typically related to the information you search and your location. While this may seem to be positive in that it may appeal to your interests and save you time, individuals must realize their information is not entirely secure and these appropriate, or timely, advertisements do not appear based on random selection or luck. This type of filter works based on understanding that if a user likes ‘A’; they may like ‘B’. This process of almost educated guessing, albeit done by intensive computer programming, is based on past user searches and large pools of user data. Information filtering is the removal of unwanted information and it is a learned process. Users should be aware that searching the internet and having certain discount or member cards are grocery stores are very similar. Member cards often allow stores to track your spending and buying habits, enabling the stores to market popular products a certain way, at a certain time, during a certain part of the store. This is indeed similar to the specific advertisements that appear atop your email related to your internet searches.

  9. Hassan Al Sarrar

    Personally I can say collaborative filtering has more disadvantages than advantages for regular who browse the Internet for other purposes than shopping. However, for consumer, it is more beneficial in term of relating previous preferences and searches to a current search for a product. That will result in a faster results and more satisfaction for consumer. On the other hand, when this exact consumer start browsing the internet, s/he gets all kinds of popups, links, and other websites that relates to previous searches even though user might be in a totally different site that has no relation to that older searches, but because of advertising reason and this filtering tools, that becomes an annoying part which frustrate most of internet users. Another issue is that filtering is disturbing a lot of people privacy where as mentioned on the video most website does mention there will be a use of information through this filtering tools; however, it is buried in the term of use agreement where it should be obvious for people to read it because of the large importance of it. Your location, height, weight, and other valuable information of yours are being stored and used for advertising purposes, this is uncomfortable.

  10. Mallory Jetter

    In reference to the Wiley IS Weekly Update article “What the Internet is Hiding From You,” _________ uses 57 different signals to tailor our results.


    Answer: b

    In reference to the Wiley IS Weekly Update article “What the Internet is Hiding From You,” Google and other companies collect as much user data to:

    a.display what they think we should see
    b.send promotions
    c.use as a competitive advantage
    d.get to know user better

    Answer: a

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