Should you keep advertisers in the dark?
Dave Ross Commentary – Listen: Should you keep advertisers in the dark?
Computers have forever changed the way we get information. But more than that — they’ve changed forever the way we get ads. Ads no longer wait patiently on a page, they grin, they talk, they pop like toast, they run naked across the screen.
And yet more and more, their obnoxiousness is matched only by their allure. You find yourself saying — hey! That stuff is just what I need!
Of course it is. Because you’ve been scientifically tracked: Based on your Facebook profile, Amazon purchases, number of searches for “Jennifer Anniston” — they KNOW you.
“By having this behavioral information they’re able to create much more targeted advertising.”
Yes. Unless… you decide to go stealth. CBS’s Larry Magid reports that the maker of the Firefox browser — Mozilla — is coming out with a “Do Not Track” option:
“But it’s important to remember this is voluntary. It’s only a request to companies asking them not to track you.”
But whatever the inner workings, the REAL question is — can we use this feature and still be good Americans?
We live in a consumer-driven economy. The only way we stay a superpower is if we buy stuff. And there’s only one way to get people to buy stuff at a time when everybody feels strapped: advertising that is so precisely targeted that all resistance is futile.
And consider this — if you stop the targeted ads, what are you gonna get instead? UN-targeted ads.
And that could get ugly.