Blog for February, 2014

Privacy & Advertising

By: Spritz  |  February 22, 2014  | 

Have you been “scroogled”. I am sure most of you have seen those TV commercials alerting the public to Google tracking and selling personal data to advertisers in order to provide services like the Google search engine and Gmail. Most people take their privacy behind the computer screen for granted (including this marketer, even though I know better). Personally, I find it humorous when Facebook recommends men’s bathing suits (based off an internet purchase for my male roommate) or diamond engagement rings (I am very single) but not everyone appreciates big brother tracking their online behavior. Time on the computer is often done in the privacy of an office or home, and while people are aware that their behavior is being tracked, most people don’t actively think or remember that with every scroll and click of a website or link, data about you is being recorded to then be sold to advertisers looking to continually segment their demographics and fine tune their messages to specific audiences. That has changed since Edward Snowden released classified information about the NSA and it’s unfavorable global surveillance apparatus. Now, privacy and the internet is all abound. People are much more skeptical as to what is being recorded and data breaches such as Target and the lesser known Living Social breach hasn’t made anyone feel more comfortable about browsing the internet.

What does this mean for the future of the use of using personal data for targeting purposes? The pendulum can swing either way, either people will start paying for a service that doesn’t record personal data for revenue purposes or the mass market will except the status quo as the data breaches become more common and the internet is accepted as a potentially unsafe environment. Can you imagine a monthly fee to access your Gmail account, or even worse, being charged based on the amount of hours your are logged into the account?

Well folks, it looks like brick and mortar stores and snail mail might make a come back after all.

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