May 9, 2006
Microsoft Plans to Use Hotmail User’s Demographics for AdCenter
“Microsoft’s paid search platform will provide detailed – but not personally identifiable – information, such as gender, age and location, for many people who use its search engine, allowing advertisers to target their ads to a specific audience.
Yusuf Mehdi, a corporate vice president with the MSN unit, said Microsoft has gathered this personal information by tracking users who have logged into its Hotmail e-mail program or other Microsoft Web sites, and then matching the data they provided with publicly known demographics, such as average income for a particular ZIP code.
The company uses computer addresses to track who’s who, but Mehdi said it will not release names or other personally identifiable information. “
Did Hotmail user’s know this stuff when they signed up…or perhaps the big oversite from Microsoft’s side is that no-one, of the millions who have signed up for Hotmail, has ever provided any accurate information about themselves.