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The Socioeconomic Impact of Internet Tracking

The Socio-Economic Impact of Internet Tracking

This report intends to contribute a more precise understanding of tracking and its consequences, both economic and social. We describe how:

  • tracking works to circulate data and affect privacy
  • data circulation benefits the U.S. economy
  • the publishing industry uses data to shape the ratio of free ad-supported content to subscription content
  • tracking affects aspects of the consumer web experience, beyond cost
  • targeted advertising reduces inventory waste
  • economic power would concentrate in the hands of the largest four or five technology companies because they are independent of circulated tracking data
  • loss of tracking would produce quantifiable revenue losses to independent publishers and their supporting technology infrastructure

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