Beware of privacy when contributing to Wikipedia

For good or bad, wikipedia keeps track of each edit and the associated ip address. It also provides the ability to search for all the edits coming from a given ip address. This is useful for the guys who keep the wikipedia as clean as possible without spam and other junk. I think they also maintain blacklisted ip addresses.

I see one big problem with this ip address tracking. Whenever a person visits a website, the website also knows the ip address of that person. Now, using that ip address and querying up against wikipedia will give the website access to information about the person! Depending on what articles a person has edited, it will then be possible to know what a person’s knows, likes etc. So, for example, let’s say you are a person interested in Yoga and edit a bunch of Yoga articles on Wikipedia. Now, the moment you go to Amazon, if Amazon customizes their website for you showing a lot of Yoga books and related stuff, that would be good? Or spooky!

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Filed under online privacy, wikipedia

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