itwbennett writes "Researchers at Microsoft Research India and the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Germany have written a paper showing that a users may be inadvertently revealing their sexual preference to advertisers. 'One example was an advertisement for a nursing program at a medical college in Florida, which was only shown to gay men. The researchers said that persons seeing the ad would not know that it had been exclusively aimed at them solely based on their sexuality, nor would they realize that clicking on the ad would reveal to the advertiser, by implication, their sexual preference in addition to other information they might expect to be sent, such as their IP (Internet Protocol) address.' For its part, Facebook 'downplayed the study, saying that the site does not pass any personally identifiable information back to an advertiser.'"
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