Web users leave privacy worries behind

first_imgBetween Facebook and MySpace ? and an onslaught of confessional TV talk shows, you have to wonder if the concept of personal privacy is an anachronism. A Silicon Valley startup is betting that it is. Pudding Media is testing a free Internet phone service. The catch is that the company’s software eavesdrops on the conversation and, in response to certain keywords, posts related ads on the caller’s computer screen. The example generally given is that a conversation about going out to dinner and a movie will cause ads for restaurants and films to pop up on the screen. The advertisers pay based on the number of clicks on their ads. To more tightly focus the ads, Pudding Media asks for the subscriber’s sex, age and ZIP code, among other details. ? Google already monitors its Gmail for information of interest to advertisers without a great deal of outcry. Pudding Media CEO Ariel Maislos told The New York Times that young people are less concerned with privacy than older people and that “the trade-off of getting personalized content versus privacy is a concept that is accepted in the world.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Sadly, he’s probably right. – Dale McFeatters Scripps Howard News Service last_img read more