Aug 13, 2013

On the record: do journos have access to your internet browsing history?

Online news publications are increasingly collecting data and browsing history from readers -- including public figures. So what happens if a journalist had access to it?

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor


The fact that major media companies track the online habits of subscribers is nothing new, but lately the possibility has arisen that journalists and editors can use this information to write about the media consumption of public figures.


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9 thoughts on “On the record: do journos have access to your internet browsing history?

  1. lloydois

    I wonder what the lovely Gemma Jones could do with information of this type?

  2. klewso

    oooooh, shiver, Uncle Rupert knowing anything about my habits? That’s what phones are for.

  3. Rob Hamos

    “Crikey currently tracks subscriber browsing history for the purposes of targeted advertising. Editorial staff don’t have access to this information.”

    Hmmm, I notice you snuck this little one in under the paraphrased bi-line. Very sneaky!

    If you, not you personally, but the organization you work for, want to know our browsing habits, would n’t it be polite to just ask? As subscribers and commenters, don’t we have a mutual obligation and social contract?

    Song: “I used to love you but it’s all over now.”

    Rob Hamos

  4. ianjohnno

    I use Ghostery to zap most tracking cookies.

  5. Venise Alstergren

    Doubtless Rupert Murdoch made good use of this sort of information in his phone hacking career? It’s enough to make me want to subscribe to his publications and/or watch his crummy TV interests; just so I could cancel all my subs.

  6. Andybob

    None of the terms, including Crikey, amount to a promise not to publish an individual’s viewing history on the subscribed site. Rather they state that viewing history is not regarded as ‘personal information’ for the purposes of the privacy laws or the terms.

    People, however, rightly regard their viewing history as personal information. Why doesn’t Crikey set a standard by promising never to use it in a way that identifies the user ?

  7. PDGFD1

    ANDYBOB: hear hear.

    Meanwhile:- I know it’s ‘off topic’ and probably ‘fish and chip wrap’ by now… but can someone please explain to me why the case regarding the Age journos McKenzie, Millar and Schneiders hasn’t received more coverage?
    Seems to me that journos of all stripes should be having a crack at calling for ‘whistle blower’ legal reform. They all tantrumed about Finklestein… well… time to get some actual ‘free speech’ commentary going perhaps?

    Otherwise all we’ll get from our investigators is more election coverage (please leave that to the interns… it’s not the hard bit we need you for)

    By the way… hard to whine about polly-pants collecting data when you do too eh? OK OK… so I’m contradictory… nite nite.

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