Good Dog. Can we train targeted advertisers to behave better?
Training a puppy to stop pulling on the leash is hard patient work. I guess I was less than patient the other day and kept repeating “don’t pull on the leash!”. When I got home, there was a targeted ad on my phone for a dog training video on YouTube.
The ad literally said: How to teach your dog to stop pulling on the leash.
You probably have a story like that too. Yes, our phones are listening to us. If you’ve given your consent to something like Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa then it’s likely legal for your phone to track your conversations for use in targeted advertising.
Google and Facebook are in the behavioral advertising business which collects data about your personal life, your moods, and your habits in order to sell targeted ads. Google makes over 80% of their revenues from ads. For Facebook it’s 99%. Not all ads use this type of surveillance data. Google also makes billions from less invasive non-user-specific ads like Google Adwords
A lot of people get uncomfortable when they learn that deeply personal parts of their lives, their daily routines and habits are being tracked. It’s creepy and it’s not sustainable. It’s also not necessary to track you this way in order to design, market and sell products and services that you want and need.
So, are there solutions?
At Big Trust, we are creating YouOwnYou so that you can change the behavior of companies that target ads using creepy tracking techniques. And you can train companies to chase after your best interests when it comes to data, privacy and ethics.
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