#15 Caught in a web of advertising

May 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

Look at ads on any webpage and you may see a pattern. Most ads are tailored to your location. Ads are able to do this by using your computer’s IP address. This may be a little Orwellian, though it isn’t invading anything because it’s not gaining anything except basic location data. This relationship between users and ad creators is actually mutually beneficial. Users are able to find local businesses that are tailored to what they want, and ad creators are able to zero in on their audience by location.

Facebook is also aiding ad creation, at a price that is.

Facebook

As the largest store of user data, Facebook has something that ad makers want. They have your relationship status, who your friends are, what you like to do, where you are, the list goes on. By getting their hands on this data, ad creators can make even more focused ads that will appeal to a more select audience (maybe even personalized) and will be seen by a greater audience on the web. And Facebook sells companies your information for a hefty price (which is what makes it one of the most valuable companies out there). Google tried to get into this market with Google+, but that didn’t really take off.

This is why it is so important to be wary of what you put online. Not only are you telling your friends where you were last night, but you’re also telling Facebook as well as anyone they choose to sell that information to.

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