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  • Translator: Timothy Covell Reviewer: Morton Bast

  • I don't know why, but I'm continually amazed to think

  • that two and a half billion of us around the world

  • are connected to each other through the Internet

  • and that at any point in time

  • more than 30 percent of the world's population

  • can go online to learn, to create and to share.

  • And the amount of time each of us is spending doing all of this

  • is also continuing to go grow.

  • A recent study showed

  • that the young generation alone

  • is spending over eight hours a day online.

  • As the parent of a nine-year-old girl,

  • that number seems awfully low.

  • (Laughter)

  • But just as the Internet has opened up the world for each and every one of us,

  • it has also opened up each and every one of us to the world.

  • And increasingly, the price we're being asked to pay

  • for all of this connectedness

  • is our privacy.

  • Today, what many of us would love to believe

  • is that the Internet is a private place; it's not.

  • And with every click of the mouse and every touch of the screen,

  • we are like Hansel and Gretel

  • leaving breadcrumbs of our personal information

  • everywhere we travel through the digital woods.

  • We are leaving our birthdays, our places of residence,

  • our interests and preferences,

  • our relationships,

  • our financial histories, and on and on it goes.

  • Now don't get me wrong,

  • I'm not for one minute suggesting that sharing data is a bad thing.

  • In fact, when I know the data that's being shared

  • and I'm asked explicitly for my consent,

  • I want some sites to understand my habits.

  • It helps them suggest books for me to read

  • or movies for my family to watch

  • or friends for us to connect with.

  • But when I don't know and when I haven't been asked,

  • that's when the problem arises.

  • It's a phenomenon on the Internet today

  • called behavioral tracking,

  • and it is very big business.

  • In fact, there's an entire industry formed

  • around following us through the digital woods

  • and compiling a profile on each of us.

  • And when all of that data is held,

  • they can do almost whatever they want with it.

  • This is an area today that has very few regulations

  • and even fewer rules.

  • Except for some of the recent announcements here in the United States and in Europe,

  • it's an area of consumer protection that's almost entirely naked.

  • So let me expose this lurking industry a little bit further.

  • The visualization you see forming behind me is called Collusion

  • and it's an experimental browser add-on

  • that you can install in your Firefox browser

  • that helps you see where your Web data is going and who's tracking you.

  • The red dots you see up there

  • are sites that are behavioral tracking

  • that I have not navigated to, but are following me.

  • The blue dots are the sites that I've actually navigated directly to.

  • And the gray dots are sites that are also tracking me,

  • but I have no idea who they are.

  • All of them are connected, as you can see,

  • to form a picture of me on the Web.

  • And this is my profile.

  • So let me go from an example to something very specific and personal.

  • I installed Collusion in my own laptop two weeks ago

  • and I let it follow me around for what was a pretty typical day.

  • Now like most of you,

  • I actually start my day going online and checking email.

  • I then go to a news site, look for some headlines.

  • And in this particular case I happened to like one of them

  • on the merits of music literacy in schools

  • and I shared it over a social network.

  • Our daughter then joined us at the breakfast table,

  • and I asked her, "Is there an emphasis on music literacy in your school?"

  • And she, of course, naturally as a nine-year-old,

  • looked at me and said quizzically, "What's literacy?"

  • So I sent her online, of course, to look it up.

  • Now let me stop here.

  • We are not even two bites into breakfast

  • and there are already nearly 25 sites that are tracking me.

  • I have navigated to a total of four.

  • So let me fast-forward through the rest of my day.

  • I go to work, I check email,

  • I log onto a few more social sites, I blog,

  • I check more news reports, I share some of those news reports,

  • I go look at some videos,

  • pretty typical day -- in this case, actually fairly pedantic --

  • and at the end of the day, as my day winds down,

  • look at my profile.

  • The red dots have exploded.

  • The gray dots have grown exponentially.

  • All in all, there's over 150 sites

  • that are now tracking my personal information,

  • most all of them without my consent.

  • I look at this picture and it freaks me out.

  • This is nothing. I am being stalked across the Web.

  • And why is this happening?

  • Pretty simple -- it's huge business.

  • The revenue of the top handful of companies in this space

  • is over 39 billion dollars today.

  • And as adults, we're certainly not alone.

  • At the same time I installed my own Collusion profile,

  • I installed one for my daughter.

  • And on one single Saturday morning, over two hours on the Internet,

  • here's her Collusion profile.

  • This is a nine-year-old girl

  • navigating to principally children's sites.

  • I move from this, from freaked out to enraged.

  • This is no longer me being a tech pioneer or a privacy advocate;

  • this is me being a parent.

  • Imagine in the physical world

  • if somebody followed our children around with a camera and a notebook

  • and recorded their every movement.

  • I can tell you, there isn't a person in this room that would sit idly by.

  • We'd take action. It may not be good action, but we would take action.

  • (Laughter)

  • We can't sit idly by here either.

  • This is happening today.

  • Privacy is not an option,

  • and it shouldn't be the price we accept

  • for just getting on the Internet.

  • Our voices matter and our actions matter even more.

  • Today we've launched Collusion.

  • You can download it, install it in Firefox,

  • to see who is tracking you across the Web

  • and following you through the digital woods.

  • Going forward, all of our voices need to be heard.

  • Because what we don't know can actually hurt us.

  • Because the memory of the Internet is forever.

  • We are being watched.

  • It's now time for us to watch the watchers.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

Translator: Timothy Covell Reviewer: Morton Bast

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