Everything you do on the internet can be tracked. Lots of organisations use tracking information to build profiles of internet users: who they are, where they are, what they do, who they do it with, what they search for, what their interests are, what they buy, and so on. The data is analysed as a basis for predicting what else the user will like. It's also enriched with information bought from other sources and the resulting profiles are sold on. Why? To make money and to enable goods and services to be offered on a personalised basis.
Scary? That depends on your viewpoint.
When you use the internet, you're unlikely to notice that you're being profiled. You'll just see ads for things you're interested in. And they aren't so bad: you can easily ignore them or click them away. In fact, they can sometimes be welcome. And targeted ads don't currently cost you anything: insurance companies don't adjust premiums on the basis of internet behaviour, for example. But why would you want to let other people make money out of information that's all about you? And what about the risk of being shown content you'd rather not see? Or finding yourself in a situation where you want the information that someone has about you changed or deleted?
Campaign video and web page
A special campaign video has been produced, which playfully illustrates how an internet user profile is built up. You can watch the video on Veiliginternetten.nl, where there are also lots of tips for improving your on-line privacy. The address of the Dutch campaign webpage is https://veiliginternetten.nl/jedeeltmeerdanjeweet/.
Why this campaign?
Veiliginternetten.nl started the campaign to make internet users more aware that, when they go on line, they're sharing information about themselves with all sorts of people they don't know. People who are building profiles of them in order to make money. The website also gives practical advice on how to stop your internet use being tracked.
The people behind the campaign
Veiliginternetten.nl is a joint initiative by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice (represented by the National Cyber Security Centre), ECP, the Platform for the Information Society, and the business community. SIDN has been actively involved with Veiliginternetten.nl for some years and supports the website financially.