Wall Street Journal’s New Privacy Policy Is Exactly What They Warned Us About

They're watching you

No publication has led the charge against tracking users on the web harder than the Wall Street Journal. In their series, “What They Know,” reporters like Julia Angwin laid out the next generation of super-cookies and digital fingerprinting schemes. Much of it was fascinating, although as I wrote before, it sometimes bordered on fear mongering, positioning basic web architecture like cookies as some nefarious plot.

It’s nice to see Ms. Angwin isn’t afraid to cover her own bosses when they make similar moves. As she reported last night:

The Wall Street Journal revised its website privacy policy on Tuesday to allow the site to connect personally identifiable information with Web browsing data without user consent.

Previously, the Journal’s privacy policy stated that it would obtain “express affirmative consent” to combine personal data with “click stream information” culled from the website.

But she’s hardly her usual self. The post is not part of the “What They Know” series, nor, as Daily Intel points out, does it use terms like “snooping,” “prying eyes” or “arms race”, to describe the changes, which include a move to track mobile device IDs.

The WSJ positioned this as a move to align their privacy policy across their network of site and of course, “better meet the needs of our users.” While it’s possible that this kind of tracking will allow the company to offer more personalized news to readers, it is undoubtedly aimed at advertisers, who care most about being able to target certain users and follow them from site to site. Wall Street Journal’s New Privacy Policy Is Exactly What They Warned Us About