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Is It Tracking Or Personalization? Ask The User

Fellow Ryan Calo spoke with James Temple of The San Francisco Chronicle on how great transparency and control by companies can actually improve the accuracy of personal data as well as consumer trust.

It's hard to get worked up about a word like "personalized."

Who doesn't want a product that's tailored to their one-of-a-kind selves, like fitted suits or fluffy monogrammed towels?

Which is probably why RapLeaf of San Francisco called their Mountain View conference on Thursday the "2011 Personalization Summit," as opposed to, say, the "Data Tracking Trade Show."

...

Moreover, providing great transparency and control can actually improve the accuracy of personal data as well as consumer trust, said Ryan Calo, director of Stanford's Consumer Privacy Project and a panelist at the conference. Companies like Google, for instance, have allowed users to look at and correct information collected about them.

"It's a false dichotomy that innovation and privacy are opposed," said Calo, who also - credit where credit is due - pointed out the differing use of the terms tracking and personalization in different quarters.