There is a lot of interesting talk these days surrounding the New York Times’ intention of setting up a paywall, which has me paying attention to how the old-school thinking of the print media is (or isn’t) changing as the web moves on without them. As I was reading my morning news today, I noticed a little box with aerospace related stories on the side of the page. Hey! I work in aerospace, how neat. Wait a minute, there’s this little LinkedIn logo there too, neat… and disturbing, I’m guessing this is connected somehow.
NYTimes.com has an arrangement with LinkedIn, a third party, in which we may use LinkedIn profile information to provide LinkedIn users with customized advertising and a short list of customized headlines when they read Business or Technology articles on NYTimes.com. By way of example, a LinkedIn user on NYTimes.com might see a box highlighting headlines about the energy business if the industry selected in his or her LinkedIn profile is “Energy sector”. This is facilitated by sharing a cookie that contains non-personally identifiable information such as Industry and Job Function from that userís LinkedIn profile and matching that with relevant headlines.
We do not share any personally identifiable information with LinkedIn.
So it’s a shared cookie, and my LinkedIn data is not supposed to be sent from LinkedIn to the NYT.
Although this is nothing new, it’s the first time I’ve seen it. †I think it’s an interesting use of my personal information to serve me content, and ads, that will interest me, while still not sharing my personal information across sites without my consent. As long as my data stays in one place, if this will help the NYT to pay the bills so I can keep reading for free, then I’m cool with that.