Where ever you click... The network follows

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Sydney, Mar 11 (UNI) Internet has made world ''a global village'' and now every nook and corner of that village is being spied by large web companies to earn big bucks.

According to new statistics of online consumer data, web companies are learning more than ever about what users search on the internet, gathering clues about their tastes and preferences several hundred times a month.

The companies use the information to predict what content and advertisers people want to see. They can charge steep prices for carefully tailored ads because of their high response rates.

Earlier also, these practices of internet companies were highlighted but only vague statistics were available.

The new analysis indicates that web companies are take the trails people leave behind as they move around the internet, analysing them and anticipate their next steps. So anybody who searches for information on topics as iron supplements, airlines, hotels and soft drinks may see ads for those products and services later on.

''When you start to get into the details, it's scarier than you might suspect,'' Executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, Mark Rotenberg, said, adding, ''We're recording preferences, hopes, worries and fears.'' Web companies, however, claim that have policies in place to protect consumers' names and other personal information from advertisers. Moreover, the data is a boon to consumers, as it makes the ads they see more relevant.

People who spend more time on the internet will have more information transmitted about them. The comScore per person figures are averages; occasional web users have far less transmitted about them.

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