More in a WSJ series
A Wall Street Journal investigation into online privacy has found that the analytical skill of data handlers like [x+1] is transforming the Internet into a place where people are becoming anonymous in name only. The findings offer an early glimpse of a new, personalized Internet where sites have the ability to adjust many things—look, content, prices—based on the kind of person they think you are.
New York-based Demdex Inc., for instance, helps websites build "behavioral data banks" that tap sources including online-browsing records, retail purchases and a database predicting a person's spot in a corporate hierarchy. It crunches the data to help retailers customize their sites to target the person they think is visiting.