I just learned about Quantcast. Basically, it’s a dream for advertisers. Quantcast tracks web traffic. It can figure out what kind of person you are: your age, ethnicity, income range, whether or notyou have kids, and your level of education. I haven’t done too much reading or investigation about just how Quantcast can figure all of this out, but I do believe that it infers such information by examining your cookies. I’m sure it’s more advanced than that, considering that Quantcast’s system employs machine-learning. But anyway, I just wanted to point out that those concerned about privacy should make sure to clean up their cookies. Of course there is no personally identifiable information collected. Quantcast can’t know what your first and last name is and what your address is. Even so, it’s a legitimate privacy concern. I’m sure that many privacy minded folks will be aware of cleaning out their cookies, but this serves as a real reminder.
Full disclosure: I’ve installed the Quantcast plugin here. Being a narcissist (as all writers and artists are), I’m interested in how this blog gets the massive amounts of traffic that it does and the type of people who visit.