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新托福阅读材料:当心你的电脑出卖你
http://www.21tx.com 2010年09月14日

  电脑和网络是现代人生活中不可缺少的重要组成部分,而也许很多人都不曾想过,自己在每天的网络生活中无意中留下了许多可被有心人利用的个人信息,不小心暴露了隐私。

  When you're surfing the Internet on your laptop from your dorm or home, do you know your personal details are being gathered secretly? And would you be surprised to know the information may be sold cheaply to advertisers and marketers?

  当你在宿舍或家中用笔记本上网时,你知道有人正在偷偷收集你的个人信息么?如果有人告诉你这些信息被廉价出售给广告商和销售商,你是否会感到吃惊呢?

  According to an investigation by The Wall Street Journal, all it takes is a tiny file in a computer-a single code consisting of a long series of numbers and letters-to record the computer user`s age, gender, location, favorite movies and hobbies.

  《华尔街日报》一项调查显示,电脑中一个特别小的文件--一个由一系列数字和字母组成的简单代码,就可以记录电脑使用者的年龄、性别、地址、喜欢的电影和爱好。

  The newspaper reports that Lotame Solutions Inc., a New York company, uses sophisticated software called a "beacon" to capture what people are typing on a website.

  报道称,Lotame Solutions Inc(一家纽约公司)使用一种名为"beacon"的高科技软件来捕捉人们在网站上输入的文字。

  Lotame packages that data into profiles about individuals, only without their names, and sells the profiles to companies seeking customers.Batches of such data may be sold for a few dollars.

  接着,Lotame将很多这样的个人信息打包出售给那些正在寻找潜在消费者的公司,出售的个人信息不包括用户的姓名。几批这样的数据可能卖到几美元。

  The Wall Street Journal probe discovered that spying on Internet users is one of the fastest-growing businesses on the World Wide Web.

  《华尔街日报》的调查发现,目前,监视互联网用户已经成为万维网上成长最快的生意之一。

  Today, tracking consumers is far more intrusive than the public realizes. For example, the top 50 websites in the US on average installed 64 pieces of tracking technology onto the computers of visitors, usually with no warning.

  现如今,追踪技术的植入程度已经远超社会大众的想象。例如,全美最大的50家网站平均在访问者的电脑上安装了64种追踪技术,而且通常都没有任何警告。

  The "cookie"- a tiny text file put on your PC by websites or marketing firms which might be used to remember your preferences for one site,or to track you across many sites-is already old news. There are new and more complex tools such as "beacons" which scan in real time what people are doing on a webpage. These beacons instantly assess the Internet user's location, income, shopping interests and even medical conditions.

  过去,网站或营销公司会在你的电脑上安装一个小文本(cookie),用来记录你对一个网站的喜好,或者跟踪你访问各个网站的情况。但如今,像beacon这种更新颖、更复杂的软件可以在人们浏览网页时进行实时扫描,然后立即对用户的地址、收入、购物兴趣,甚至医疗条件等因素进行评估。

  Tracking files get onto websites and are downloaded to a computer, in several ways. Often, companies simply pay sites to distribute their tracking files. But tracking companies sometimes hide their files within free software offered to websites, or hide them within other tracking files or ads. When this happens, websites aren't always aware that they're installing the files on visitors' computers.

  网站安装、下载追踪文件的方式多种多样。通常,公司付费给网站来发布他们的追踪文件。但是,追踪公司偶尔也会将文件隐藏在网站上的免费软件或其他追踪文件或广告中。这种情况下,网站本身也不清楚他们在用户电脑上安装了追踪文件。

  Tracking companies are often staffed by math gurus with expertise in quantitative analysis. Some use probability algorithms to try to pair what they know about a person's online behavior with data from offline sources about household income, geography and education, among other things.

  追踪公司的员工多为精通定量分析的数学专家。他们通过使用几率算法,根据了解到的用户的线上行为来推算线下资料,比如家庭收入、所在地和教育程度等。

  Personal data gathered from such tracking is now bought and sold on stock market-like exchanges.

  通过此种追踪手段收集来的个人信息会在交易所等证券市场进行买卖交易。

  The new technology is now exerting a profound impact on the Internet industry, especially on how retailers locate and sell to their customers. Millions of Internet users around the world also face unprecedented threats. Private, sensitive, personal and business information is being gathered and sold without their knowledge.

  这项新技术已经对时下的互联网行业产生了巨大影响,尤其是对零售商寻找潜在用户、销售商品而言更是如此。与此同时,这对世界各地数百万的互联网用户们来说也是个前所未有的威胁。他们的私人、敏感甚至商业信息都在不知不觉中被收集和出售。

  Companies insist the information they gather is anonymous and the data is used harmlessly. But the technology has grown so powerful and evasive that even some of the biggest websites in the US don't know that they were installing intrusive files on visitors' computers. These include MSN.com and Yahoo.com.

  对此,追踪公司表示,他们是以匿名的方式收集此类信息,而且这些信息的使用对用户无害。但是,追踪技术成长得如此强大,使用如此隐秘,就连美国最大的一些网站也不知道自己在用户电脑上安装了入侵文件。这其中就包括MSN网和Yahoo网。

  Next time you visit a webpage and find an ad banner advertising something you've been planning to buy, don't be amazed that your computer can read your mind.

  所以,下次浏览网页的时候如果发现有广告向你推荐商品,而这些商品恰恰是你最近想买的东西时,千万别惊叹什么“电脑居然能读懂我的心”啦。

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