The Wall Street Journal is one of the nation’s oldest periodicals and, probably, the most respected financial journal in the world. The online edition of the paper is available to most internet users, but many of the feature articles are behind paywalls. Now it seems that the journal has found a new way to increase its online revenue: data sharing.
You’d think that this change would have made the news, but most consumers seem to be comfortable with this type of policy expansion. The argument could be made that the WSJ is so well respected that people naturally feel the company can be trusted with their personal information. However, as blogger Derrick Harris points out, if this had been done by a larger internet company such as Facebook or Google, the outcry would have been long and loud.
If nothing else, this shift demonstrates that the tide is turning on corporate data-sharing. While the practice may have been condemned in the past, it’s becoming more and more accepted, even by the public. But the lack of public response may also reveal a double standard that allows seemingly established corporations to make changes that newer, startup companies could never get away with. Either way, American consumers should be troubled about the corporate data mining trend.
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