Who are these tracking companies? Meet [x+1].

Privacy

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[x+1] logo[x+1] is a data-driven marketing tool that profiles consumers as they browse online, which in turn lets companies estimate the lifetime value of those potential customers. It also lets companies target people in most of the places they go online: their email inboxes, their chats, the websites they visit, and more.

How it works:

When you visit a website using [x+1], that site installs a tracker on your computer. That tracker followers where you browse, when you click on websites that are using [x+1], what you buy online, and more. This data is tied to that tracker’s ID number.

As [x+1] gathers this data about you, it begins to make inferences like where you live, what kind of income you have, and what your political leanings are. These inferences allow [X+1]’s customers–companies running advertisements–to serve up ads tailored to those inferences.

So what?

The Wall Street Journal reported that CapitalOne was using [x+1]’s data to target different users with very different credit card offers. It’s not price discrimination per se, as consumers are still allowed to apply for any card they prefer, but it certainly can result in offers that are better or worse than a consumer might have received after browsing anonymously.

Additionally, there is concern about how transparent the data stored in [x+1]’s tracker might be: the assessments [x+1] makes are not encrypted, but instead nested as plain text within the [x+1] tracking cookie.

Finally, even though the data [x+1] collects is technically anonymized, the deeper and more thorough a profile is, the more likely it is that a company could identify a particular consumer using just this data. The Wall Street Journal discussed how detailed [x+1]’s data was, writing that “From a single click on a web site, [x+1] correctly identified Carrie Isaac as a young Colorado Springs parent who lives on about $50,000 a year, shops at Wal-Mart and rents kids’ videos.”

How can [x+1] benefit me?

The tradeoff of targeted advertising is this: while [x+1] is more likely to connect you with ads relevant to your interest and special offers you may actually wish to take advantage of, they are also collecting massive amounts of data about you that may someday result in negative consequences you can’t foresee now (like price discrimination, or sharing to the detriment of your privacy). Even incorrect profiling, when shared, might create an awkward situation. It’s up to you to decide how much control you want over your personal data and whether you want companies like [x+1] collecting and analyzing your preferences and browsing behavior.

Want to dig even deeper? Check out [x+1]’s privacy policy.
Read more about some of the other trackers DNTMe is now blocking:

18 Replies to “Who are these tracking companies? Meet [x+1].”

  1. Old School says:

    Very scary – Ghostery blocked this as i was logged onto my Amazon Chase account to make payment. In the past i did not have a blocker so i have been tracked before. I don’t want any tailored advertisements – ever. I am a grown up so I can shop on my own without this 1984 helper.
    I often wonder how many people buy due to advertisements as i never take faith in them myself- online, TV, ect.. Buyer beware – E-opinions & consumer reports are the way to go.

    • Nieht Wache says:

      “Buyer beware – E-opinions & consumer reports are the way to go.”

      Agreed. That is one of the foundation pillars of a truly free market.

      The internet is a tremendous resource in this regard.

      • eTroller says:

        Unfortunately that is also biased, since it is taineted by trolls promoting a product beyond itself. SInce these are “consumer reports” no-one is liable and the opinions are just opinions – no recourse It is very common for endorsements to be rigged and give the appearance o being legitimate.
        So “E-opinions & consumer reports are the way to go” is actually incorrect, unfortunately! What do you derive from 50 people that say great and 40 people that say rubbish? It’s non-conclusive!

  2. I wonder does it work if you use a credit card of someone else ?
    does it block the ip address ??

    • William says:

      I believe one of the few programs to completely block an ip addresses is “Startpage”
      This link may help !

      http://startpage.com

      P.S. If you’re worried about using a credit card on the internet, try what I have done, obtain a new credit card and have it reset to a quite a low level, and an arrangement with your card supplier not to increase this level under any circumstances, If your supplier won’t corporate, change supplier ?

      • fredfernakerfang says:

        Startpage is a good way to go, it’s google but it pretends that you are somewhere else in the world. A bit like TOR without all the relays. For purchases get a pre-paid debit card ,they are untraceable to you and disposable if you want.

      • gunslinger says:

        https://www.ixquick.com/ (Startpage), https://start.duckduckgo.com/ and others are decent search engines, however to avoid being tracked AT ALL, insure the search engine is preferably European..Dutch (Holland) based is best. But your online behaviour like sharing to twitter or facebook or clicking on like etc from a web page is really your achilles heel and the Trackers know it.Try using a different web browser such as TOR or Avant Browser

  3. alsaer says:

    god god god

  4. Joseph says:

    This is really scary.
    Who do these people think they are installing stuff on our computers/phones/etc. without our permision?!
    I would like to surf the internet without some digital stalker looking over my shoulder, thankyou.

  5. Doghouse says:

    After the first pop-up I let the advertiser know I will not do business with them, even if I have done business with them in the past.

  6. John Charles Heiser says:

    Nice language. Cannot even tell which side you favor. Are you from one of the tracking companies?

  7. yufen says:

    你可以使用这些HTML标签和属性名称缩写名称的缩写标题B href引用引用代码删除迷惑我问举走强的日期

  8. Rick Stoneking says:

    So let’s say we use some form of tracker protection starting right now. How do we know whether or not they have all of our info already? I don’t know of any way to erase what is already out there.

    • Another Amy says:

      Clear your all cookies and then immediately go to the two Adverstising Alliance sites I mention in my below comment and use the mass opt out feature. It will then install OPT OUT cookies in your browser for each tracking company.

  9. Another Amy says:

    [x+1] is now Rocketfuel.com – they bought them. They offer ‘opt out’ of their tracking cookies on their website (at the VERY bottom of the site, the tiny little links that no one looks for)

    Opt out and block them.

    I just set StartPage as my main browser, I am going to try it and see what results I get, I need to search for things constantly for my business as well as personally.

    You can OPT OUT of all tracking cookies and tailored advertising from participating members of the NAI (Network Advertising Initiative) The site will check your browser and list who is tracking you in your browser and let you OPT OUT of them in mass. It works – do it. You need to keep the opt out cookies so if you clear cookies, you need to go back to http://www.networkadvertising.org/choices/ and run the check again and opt out again. They have well over 100+ companies participating. At any time 90+ may be tracking you and tailoring adds for your browser!

    The other OPT OUT site is http://www.aboutads.info/choices/ Digital Advertising Alliance Consumer Choice Page. Same type of thing, checks for the active tracking cookies and allows you to opt out.

    Some companies like Yahoo don’t seem to work with the group opt out. Go here: https://info.yahoo.com/privacy/us/yahoo/opt_out/targeting/?b=oo and opt out of Yahoo tracking. It will install a Yahoo cookie containing your opt out info. Do the same for others that are stubborn. Each of the group Advertising opt out sites has info under each company that contains a link to how to opt out directly through their website. Follow links and instructions to opt out of the ones that don’t opt out through the mass opt out method.

    It takes a little time, but is well worth it! Good luck!

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