Internet Surveillance: Targeted Advertising


A new Google ad service was launched on Wednesday, March 11. Google will track Internet usage and display targeted ads based on each person’s specific site visits. For example, if you visit a website that sells a specific type of golf club, you might later see an ad for the same website when you are browsing an unrelated site that displays Google ads. The full article can be found at…


Just as advertisers can track a person’s Internet usage, they can do the same with a smartphone. As well, advertising systems can use GPS technology to track smartphone location, allowing advertisers to combine location information, personal preferences, and personal identification information to display ads specifically targeted for an individual. As smartphones increase in popularity, this type of data collection is becoming more prevalent. The full article can be found at…

Will consumers find this targeted advertising creepy? Or will they find it useful to find a “receive 5 percent off” coupon on their Blackberry for a nearby store?



One response to “Internet Surveillance: Targeted Advertising

  1. Michael Hancock

    Facebook’s been using something similar for a while now, but I think Google getting into the same business is a greater issue of concern. Facebook is a specific application you enter into and leave from; Google has become, in a lot of ways, the face of the Internet, the tool that’s so ubiquitous that you forget it’s there. (And yes, I know that’s an oversimplification, particularly of Facebook, since there’s been some media attention on exactly how people are getting into trouble for believing that what they do there doesn’t affect the rest of their lives.)

    This new ad campaign may prompt people to be more aware of what sort of information they’re allowing to get out, and become more vigilant as a result. Unfortunately, since efficiently reducing your electronic trail requires a level of technological savvy, it may be going yet another step towards creating a technological elite.
    I think people (me, at least) will find this targeting creepy, but ultimately accept it; if the alternative is NOT having a Blackberry, and NOT going on the Internet, well… what are you going to do? And once you accept that, you might as well put that coupon to good use…

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