Of course, to skeptics who lament the absence of privacy practices that put consumers in control of their own information, there is no surprise in the the following: Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking (link to ProPublica). There was just too much money to be made not to join web tracking data with Google user profiles.
User profiles like in Google Apps for Education, for example. This would mean all Maryland students, faculty and staff who use our campus-supplied, Google-implemented mail and services are not only coloring in profiles for Google to use in commercial ventures – Google does that already – but these profiles will be joined with all our web activities (on and off campus.) All as a condition of being affiliated with University of Maryland.
Can you opt out? Maybe, but at some point employees will be opting out of getting official information from their employer and students will be opting out of getting traffic from their instructors. At least this is how it looks from here.
UM leadership puts our personal information into a stream of commerce in order to obtain its technology infrastructure. Once again Wallace Loh writes checks that we must cash.