Who are these tracking companies? Meet Dataium.

Dataium collects and analyzes data around online automotive shopping to predict individual consumer behaviors. They are one of the largest aggregators of this kind of personal data, tracking over 20 million automotive shoppers across 10,000 websites every month.

How it works:

Image: http://www.visicogn.com/insite/enterprise.htm

The automotive websites that work with Dataium install code on their site that log everything an individual visitor might do on a website, from what pages they visit, to where they click on the page, to even any contact information a visitor might submit on a contact form or select from a drop-down menu. Dataium also installs tracking cookies on a visitor’s computer to follow where they browse, and specifically track what other automotive websites a user visits while they do their automotive shopping.

The Wall Street Journal has called out Dataium for exploiting a controversial vulnerability in older browsers called CSS history sniffing that allow them to read a user’s browser history.

So what?

Unlike many of the trackers we’ve profiled here, Dataium does not make any pretense of anonymizing user data. If you submit your contact information through a contact form on one dealership’s website and then browse several other automotive websites, Datium will know – and sell – an analysis of what you were looking for to dealerships. Besides that, there’s still that questionable activity of trying to sniff your browser’s history.

What can Dataium do for me?

Make sure you get the car you actually want, not the pea green family truckster.

Dataium’s analysis of your automotive browsing could make it easier for a dealership to understand your needs and how serious you are before you even step foot on their floor. This probably saves time for both you and the dealership, but if a dealership already knows what car you’re very interested in, this might put you in a weaker position for negotiations. After all, car salespeople aren’t exactly known for being the most honest types out there. That said, part of Dataium’s mission is to make it easier for consumers buy the car they want to buy–not the the car the dealership wants them to buy–by making individuals’ desires transparent to dealerships.

To dig even deeper, check out Dataium’s privacy policy.

Read more about some of the other trackers DNTMe is now blocking:




Join in the discussion

  • Jerry says:

    “On December 5, the Federal Trade Commission announced it had settled with Epic Marketplace, Inc., an advertising network that had been using history sniffing to target ads. “This type of unscrupulous behavior undermines consumers’ confidence, and we won’t tolerate it,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in the announcement.”

    Went to the link in your story, the FTC investigation referenced was of Epic Marketplace, Inc. not Dataium. Your story incorrectly states that it is Dataium. You may want to correct it.

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