Is the Google Toolbar a Trojan Horse for Ad Targeting? Is Steve Ballmer right?

Is Google getting ready to serve up display ads to people based on their Web surfing habits (as opposed to their Web searching habits)? Ever since the DoubleClick acquisition closed, industry watchers have been waiting to see how Google would dip its toes into behavioral ad targeting. One rumor going around is that Google is going to target ads to people who use the Google Toolbar, which is now bundled with Dell PCs.

The rumor could be an attempt to spread FUD, but it is not just startups that are playing the privacy card. In a discussion with Washington Post editors and reporters on June 4th, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer raised a similar privacy issue in relation to the Dell deal.

More and the video of Steve Ballmer on Privacy:  http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/06/16/is-the-google-toolbar-a-trojan-horse-for-ad-targetting-ballmer-plays-the-privacy-card/

Ballmer’s Right About Privacy, Wrong About Toolbars
http://www.informationweek.com/blog/main/archives/2008/06/ballmers_right.html

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