Wall Street Journal Changes Privacy Policy To Track Users' Browsing Data Without Consent

Because News Corp. has apparently given up any pretensions to respecting the privacy of others, it recently updated the privacy policy for the Wall Street Journal website to allow the company to connect personally identifiable information with Web browsing data without user consent.

Before the change, which was made on Tuesday, the WSJ.com privacy policy stated it would obtain “express affirmative consent” to combine personal data with “click stream information.”

And it’s not just WSJ.com. The change is being made to all member sites in the Journal’s Digital Network, including Marketwatch.com, AllthingD.com, Barrons.com and SmartMoney.com.

Additionally, the privacy policy now states that the sites collects mobile browser ID information.

Why the change?
The network’s general manager says that by combining the identifying info with the browsing history, it will “allow us to provide customized Wall Street Journal service information to our users.”

She adds that the change “is not being applied retrospectively and only applies going forward to new registered users and subscribers.”

If this is truly a benefit to users of the Wall Street Journal sites, News Corp. should make it opt-in only and be compelled to make its case to its readers, rather than making a quiet, behind-the-scenes change in its long-winded privacy policy.

Wall Street Journal Revises Its Privacy Policy [WSJ.com]