Advertisements that are tailored to your needs
If culture is the engine that pilots advertising to reach the right audience, targeted ads in theory do a lot more in the matching plot as they bring to people the advertisements that are more relevant to them. Reality however makes it look far more serious then that, since users are not aware the advertisements are taking their data to offer them those ads that are specific to them. This is not a recent matter but what I found even more alarming when I further researched this matter, is that people’s information are pulled from other sources even for activities they do offline.
How is your data collected from daily activities
You are surely aware of the personal information you share in your daily living activities with various third parties. There doesn’t seem to be any invasion to your privacy when you are willingly providing certain details to separate organizations for your benefits. This is mostly the basic information you share through loyalty cards you hold and use, email subscriptions you ticked to join, some ownership information such as for a car, motorbike, boat or even a house, browser cookies you enable and that saves your browsing preferences and interests, and many more. Providing this information to different separate parties is not an issue, until they are collected and merged as a single record of one’s personal data. There are many articles on the web that name the 4 big existing “Data Companies”, check Ad Age article from February 2013, The New York Times “Mapping, and Sharing, the Consumer Genome” or make your own search!
What looks like basic information including race, gender, economic status, buying habits, are precious commercial leads to advertisers. If you are a user of social media giant Facebook, – most likely you are- then it’s BINGO! your details combined with what Facebook has access to from its partnership with Data companies are the perfect match that will provide an even better idea of your likings, where do you shop, and what you might presently need.
If advertising communicates people’s cultural attitudes to influence them and lead them to consume accordingly, targeted advertising is now able to tailor this communication to meet each individual need through social media.
Although this may sound good news to some, the main concerns here are that:
- People need to know when every single detail of theirs is being used.
- Sharing people’s information should be turned “off” by default.
I find it funny how wordings relevant to privacy statements or disclaimers -like terms and conditions- are always in fine print, and strongly believe that for such a delicate matter of privacy, that’s not good enough.
Ways to protect your privacy from being shared.
Ways of opting out from Facebook tracking you.