Amid increasing controversy about Web surfers’ privacy, a Chicago company has designed a solution to help companies manage their site visitors’ data and control how third-party advertisers track those users’ behavior.
Now that advertisers can buy access to the computers of people looking at their ads, web users’ privacy has become a hot-button issue. The controversy prompted the Federal Trade Commission on Dec. 1 to propose a “do not track” option that would let people surfing online choose whether they want their browsing history to be monitored. And Microsoft announced that its Internet Explorer browser 9, to be released in 2011, will include a tool that allows users to block certain third-party sites from tracking them.
Enter BrightTag, a one-year-old powerhouse made up of Chicago technology startup alumni Marc Kiven, a native Chicagoan who founded the company after working at online tech and advertising companies Avenue A and Right Media, and Chief Technology Officer Eric Lunt, a co-founder of Feedburner, now a Google property, and the now-defunct Spyonit.com.
BrightTag’s solution replaces the many individual pieces of software called tags with a single tracking tag that every on-line company can use to send information from its own Web site to a third party, usually an ad network or an analytics company.