Careful Web Surfers, Nielsen Is Archiving You

October 13, 2010

I imagine we'll be hearing calls to regulate this rather soon. That could set off all sorts on interesting debates and challenges.

At 1 a.m. on May 7, the website noticed suspicious activity on its "Mood" discussion board. There, people exchange highly personal stories about their emotional disorders, ranging from bipolar disease to a desire to cut themselves.

It was a break-in. A new member of the site, using sophisticated software, was "scraping," or copying, every single message off PatientsLikeMe's private online forums.

PatientsLikeMe managed to block and identify the intruder: Nielsen Co., the privately held New York media-research firm. Nielsen monitors online "buzz" for clients, including major drug makers, which buy data gleaned from the Web to get insight from consumers about their products, Nielsen says.

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  1. Cara Ellison says:

    Ew ew ew. Creepy. I rebel against this. But I also know that anything we put online is out there in public. I’m eager to see how this resolves.

  2. Meadow says:

    Just remember it is devilishly easy to forge IP addresses.

  3. Carpenter says:

    Yes it is creepy but Nielsen is probably just studying the Psychology of Libertarianism or the underlying personality traits among the Tea People.
    And its not a one size fits all Psychological Profile! Some of these Libertarians truly value freedom, even though they vary on how to achieve it (right libertarianism vs. left libertarianism vs. coercive utopian libertarianism vs. anarchistic libertarianism vs. authoritarian libertarianism).
    Other Libertarians, the most irritating, have a superiority complex, that their ideology is the best for society. I refer to this variety as PaulBots because most of them (at least presently) are followers of the Prophet Ron Paul.
    One of the other Libertarian groups are the BeckBots because of thier love for their religious leader Glenn Beck whom they will fight to the death to defend. A good majority of these Beck fans defend him just like the Mohammedan defend the Islamic prophet Muhammad except they haven’t blown up anything, yet.
    Then there is the history of Libertarian invasions into the Democrat and Republican parties where small amouts of Libertarianism was introduced at various times…..
    So don’t worry. If Nielsen is studying the Psychology of Libertarianism they will be confused for decades.

  4. Steve C. says:

    Not surprising. More and more data is collected each day by various entities in the hopes that it can be “useful” some time in the future. I fully expect, at some point in the not too distant future, that there will be a major scandal about the amount and type of data that has been collected and archived by Google. A company with very deep pockets. The trial bar will motivate Attorneys General like Blumenthal to make Google the next recipient of Microsoft like attention.
    That aside, we are going to be exploring the frontier of expectation of privacy for many years to come.

  5. joyMc says:

    I can see it now. The clerk reviewing my file falls asleep.

  6. Xiaoding says:

    More panic over nothing.

  7. Carpenter says:

    Be afraid. Be very afraid. They are watching you!
    Google has already ARCHIVED this post
    This is Google’s cache of It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Oct 14, 2010 02:09:19 GMT. The current page could have changed in the meantime. Learn more
    Text-only version
    Big Brother (Google and Obama) is watching you

  8. Moobs says:

    More panic over nothing
    Yes you pond scum i felt that way when you satanic ignoramuses got yourselves into vapors when bush passed the patrtiot act
    carpenturd go play with yourself