If you don’t like the concept of having your online actions tracked for marketing purposes, you can add Nielsen to you list of sworn enemies. The audience measurement company is better known for its TV viewer ratings, but yesterday it announced a new partnership with websites like Facebook where it will access user info (age and gender only, it says) to collect aggregate data on ad views around the web.
From the Media Decoder blog at the New York Times:
For example, if a user logs on to Facebook (a Nielsen media partner) and then visits another Web site where an ad that Nielsen is tracking is shown, Nielsen will put a pixel in the ad that will prompt Facebook to send Nielsen the age and gender of the people who viewed the ad.
As usual, if you want to avoid any of this, try using ad-blocking software and/or turn off third-party cookies. Nielsen also says you can opt-out by going to its website, but if you’re against tracking schemes, probably the last thing you want to do is play by the rules the tracking company sets up.
“Nielsen Introduces New Ad Measurement Product” [New York Times]