“On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog” said the famous New Yorker cartoon, back when it seemed that online interactions were inherently anonymous. Today, of course, the Internet knows not just that you’re a dog, but what breed you are, what you ate for breakfast, and when you were neutered. In retrospect, the funniest thing about that New Yorker cartoon is its view of a world that quickly changed.

Data managers are still grappling with this change. Much Web advertising regulation, for example, is still premised on the notion that cookies are anonymous. This is what justifies sharing them without the consumer consent businesses need to trade in Personally Identifiable Information (PII) such as names and addresses.

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