What’s the Price of Your Privacy?

As I mentioned in my last post, advances in technology are making it more enticing for marketers and advertisers to take a peek into the trends you follow online. With the help of technology such as cookies and online social networking profiles, marketers are now utilizing what is known as behavioral targeting, whereby information on your mouse clicks, interests and searches made is collected and used to create integrated advertising that is unique to you. While many see this as a great way to follow the current trend of niche markets and individualized marketing, others see it as a huge disrespect of privacy. Taking this into account, you might want to think twice before “Like”ing that popular DJ’s page on Facebook, lest you be flooded with promotional ads for lame night clubs on South Beach.

Recently, new changes have been put forth in attempt to abate future legal troubles due to this so-called encroachment on private information. Online companies will have the chance to include a hyperlink near data-collecting portions of a website, which links users to a website listing more information on the practices used to collect this information and what it means to consumers.

Personally, I’m not so sure I buy into these privacy concerns. Is it really so frightening that Facebook knows that I enjoy listening to Radiohead? Or that I like Thai food? While the threats of online identity theft and harassment are certainly real, I would never think to put any personal information online that I don’t already consider public in the first place. In today’s day and age, it seems privacy is only a topic we discuss after we feel it has been violated — even though, for many electronic media, we fail to fully understand the policies in place for these sorts of concerns. Have you ever seen the length of an iTunes contract? Do you really sit and read through it in its entirety before downloading that Taylor Swift CD? I don’t think many do.

What does online privacy mean to you? Do you feel this new AboutAds initiative will help consumers become more knowledgeable?

References:
Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Behavioral_targeting

Image:
http://www.allfacebook.com

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