Why did Google consolidate all of their privacy policies?
Perhaps it is in preparation for “Do Not Track.”
A “Do Not Track” system only works when a user is anonymously browsing a website. Once a user logs in to any site, they are tracked.
When we do not know a user’s basic demographic structure and what they are looking for, the value of internet ad inventory displayed to that individual drops precipitously (heck, is it even an individual?) Unlike the print publishing industry where an advertiser gains clout by purchasing prominent inventory, digital advertising relies on hyper targetting to squeeze out acceptable earnings. Even then, the earned revenue often dissapoints. Just ask the newspapers.
What happens if “Do Not Track” means ad networks know nothing about a user?
In the short term, Facebook becomes the only place you can purchase massive volume and still target users. Its simple, a user enables “Do Not Track”, and Facebook politely mentions that logging in no longer works.
If a “Do Not Track” visitor is worth 5-10% of what a normal visitor is worth, it is easy to imagine every web site that can will force users to log in. I can’t be certain about the loss of value, but I don’t think internet businesses will be giving away their content for free.
This is how we transition from an internet advertising model that guesses who you are to one that knows exactly who you are.
“Do Not Track” is a joke. Google, Facebook, and the FTC think you are pretty stupid and will easily be fooled.