Monday, October 1, 2012

Digital Advertising and Privacy

Advertising has been getting more and more personal. Radio would broadcast an advertisement to all who listened to that radio station, but everyone got the same message. Same with television, same with newspaper, same with magazines. However, personal devices, such as computers and phones with access to the portal of infinite knowledge known as "the internet" allow for more personal advertising. Not everyone who logs onto Facebook gets the same message. Advertising companies have been working harder to pinpoint the demographic they want, and these personal devices have been perfect for specificity. The question becomes, when does accurate pinpointing meet invasion of privacy? Advertisers are able to get a general sense of an individual's location using an ISP address. The Advertisers are then able to send the user an ad for a product/service close to the user's location.
This does not tell the advertiser much else about the individual. New technology, however, is allowing advertisers to gain even more access to a user's information. Notably facebook-- a personal information haven--has employed many techniques to carve out users' information for advertising purposes. From "reading" users' comments to observing relationship statuses, advertising companies are digging deep into Facebook to pinpoint users' interests. Will this go deeper? IT COULD.
  A technology developed by Google known as "acoustic fingerprinting" actually lets advertisers "listen"   through users' built-in computer microphones. Although it hasn't been used much for advertising, it very well could be in the future. What better way to get into the lives of an individual than to listen in on his or her most personal conversations?

No comments:

Post a Comment