When Does A Web Site Really Get Your Data?

While this is certainly not a breach, it surely is not what you are expecting.

Have you ever noticed after you went to a web site, started to fill out a form but then abandoned it, that you got an email from the web site?

If you have gotten one, you are not alone.  That is because the submit button is really mostly a concept.

Quicken Loans, Acurian and a host of retailers, among others, have programmed their web sites so that as soon as you start typing or finish one field, the data is transmitted, in the background to the web server.  No need to wait till the user finishes entering the data to transmit it – just do it as the user fills out the form.

While there is nothing even remotely illegal about this, it is certainly not what people expect.

I expect – and likely so do you – that if I fill out a web form, that data is not sent to the web site owner until I say so.  Apparently, in an effort to capture those folks who bail out half way through and get another chance to persuade them to buy whatever that web site is selling,  the site captures the data long before you hit submit.

So for those of you who think that your data is still yours if you don’t hit that submit button – maybe you are right – but maybe you are wrong.

Information for this post came from Bruce Schneier.


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