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More Behavioral Targeting Than Even Savvy Users Might Expect: Study

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When it comes to behavioral targeting, the prevailing ethos among marketers and ad agencies is “what consumers don’t know, won’t bother them.” As a long NYT piece on the subject shows, there is a lot more targeting going on than consumers might suspect. The paper commissioned a study from audience measurement firm comScore (NSDQ: SCOR), with the intent of providing a snapshot of just how much data on consumers’ online activity is collected in an average month.

From an ad agency standpoint, the gargantuan amount of data collected will mean that media companies will be increasingly dependent on Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) and Google (NSDQ: GOOG), which have the systems in place to best analyze and organize the user information they collect. Here’s a rundown of some of the findings from the commissioned report:

— Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, AOL (NYSE: TWX) and MySpace recorded at least 336 billion “data transmission events