Wall Street Journal has a piece on one of the fastest-growing businesses on the Internet; the business of spying on consumers to pass information about you and your interests to tracking companies and advertisers.
Hidden inside Ashley Hayes-Beaty's computer, a tiny file helps gather personal details about her, all to be put up for sale for a tenth of a penny.
The file consists of a single code— 4c812db292272995e5416a323e79bd37—that secretly identifies her as a 26-year-old female in Nashville, Tenn.
The code knows that her favorite movies include "The Princess Bride," "50 First Dates" and "10 Things I Hate About You." It knows she enjoys the "Sex and the City" series. It knows she browses entertainment news and likes to take quizzes.
"Well, I like to think I have some mystery left to me, but apparently not!" Ms. Hayes-Beaty said when told what that snippet of code reveals about her. "The profile is eerily correct."