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July 23, 2007

Gatineau and that pesky demographic data

Posted by David Hunter at 7:58 PM ET.

Last week SEO guru David Naylor posted some leaked screen shots of Gatineau,  the adCenter Web analytics tool we previously mentioned in January. They are pretty much what one would expect for a Google Analytics competitor except for one that has a nice breakout of Web site visitors by gender and the promise of a similar breakout by age, neither of which Google provides.

Given today’s Microsoft positioning on privacy, one can’t help but be curious as to how this demographic data was obtained. Microsoft’s Ian Thomas explains:

Beta 1 will include the ability to segment data by both age and gender buckets, so you can get more of an idea of what kind of visitors you have. Questions are already being asked on Dave’s blog about where we get this data from; the answer is that we do get this information from users’ Live ID (formerly known as Microsoft Passport) profiles, but I would stress that we get this information anonymously, and there is no use of PII (Personally Identifiable Information, such as name or e-mail address) in the product.

I have to observe that while the Gatineau user may not have the PII, Microsoft certainly does and it is now linked, or at least linkable, with the Web site where Gatineau tracking is installed. I wonder if this is covered under the opt out option that Microsoft was trumpeting this morning?

As for Gatineau itself, Thomas says a beta is due later this summer.

Filed under Beta and CTP, Gatineau, Legal, MSN, Microsoft, Privacy, adCenter

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3 Responses to “Gatineau and that pesky demographic data”

  1. Microsoft Financial Analyst Meeting 2007 Wrap-up -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] There’s no doubt that Mr. Ozzie is a smart guy so he surely notices that the four layer plan that he showed for Microsoft’s software plus services “strategy” doesn’t really bring too much new to the table. The software is the familiar cash cows already in Microsoft’s barn and the services bear an uncanny resemblance to Hailstorm with some of the names changed. Perhaps the biggest difference is that now your Live ID (used to be Passport) also gets you targeted Web ads. [...]

  2. Microsoft betas Gatineau Web analytics tool -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Gatineau seems to be a pretty standard Web analytics package and a worthy competitor to the also free Google Analytics, but promises enhanced demographic information which is either better or worse depending on your concerns about privacy. [...]

  3. Microsoft a wallflower at the big Facebook bash -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] There are rumors that Microsoft is looking for a tie-in of Facebook with Windows Live ID which is Microsoft’s sun source of demographic data about potential ad viewers. Frankly that seems like a very bad idea for a lot of reasons including conversion costs and branding, but just wait until the privacy advocates latch on to it. Can you say “opt-out list?” I knew you could, but it is not clear that Facebook can – at least not yet.   Filed under Alliances, Coopetition, Legal, MSN, General Business, adCenter, Windows Live, Ad-supported software, Privacy, Windows Live ID, Microsoft, Facebook   [Permalink] [TrackBack] [...]

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