DailyDirt: Creepy Ads From Big Data

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Lots of advertisers are turning to data mining techniques to try to squeeze more value out of their budgets. Given all the data that gets collected by our phones/browsers/credit cards/etc, it's not too surprising that ads can get pretty creepy, pretty fast. Here are just a few stories about ads that aren't technically doing anything wrong -- but that haven't quite gotten their privacy behavior right either. By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 5:43pm

    Creepier is the free-speech-jammer.

    POPSCI: Speech Jamming Gun Freezes Any Talker Mid-Sentence By Clay Dillow Posted 03.01.2012 at 3:04 pm 7

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    abc gum, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 5:47pm

    So Zuckerberg & Bezos are fair game if they are over heard discussing KY jelly .... hilarity ensues. - oh wait I forgot that the 1% are protected by publicity rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 5:54pm

    About photos I just read that Android if granted permission to an app to access the internet can copy all your images and upload them to whatever place they want.

    http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/01/android-photos/

    Now that is a scary bug.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 6:15pm

    Re:

    I like how they finally developed a speech DRM device, but
    pirates still remain unaffected:

    The only limitation is that it only works with words; syllables like those often expressed by pirates or onomatopoeia don't work.


    ARRGGG matey, me and me parrot still be talking!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 6:39pm

    Re:

    I haven't read up on exactly how this works, but I thought I saw something that said you just need earplugs to defeat this "speech jammer" -- so that you can't hear your own time-delayed speech to mess you up. :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Pixelation, Mar 1st, 2012 @ 10:06pm

    "Marissa Mayer said credit card companies can predict a divorce with 98% accuracy two years before it happens. "

    I read lots of things on the internet. I have an inkling some of them aren't true. Just a suspicion. I wonder if she will provide a citation.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Michael Ho (profile), Mar 1st, 2012 @ 11:35pm

    Re: [citation needed]

    It doesn't really matter because 37% of all statistics are made up anyway....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Pete Austin, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 1:37am

    Here's a trick that - I just read - that most journalists use

    Protip: write down any old crap, then read what you've written and - hey presto! - you can make a statement just like Marissa Meyer. Because she didn't say that credit card companies can predict divorce. She said "I read the other week that"...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Pete Austin, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 1:48am

    Re: Here's a trick that - I just read - most journalists use

    After writing the above, I thought I'd spend 10 seconds with Google...

    'UPDATE: After this story ran, the company responded with the following statement. “Visa does not track or monitor cardholder marital status, nor does it offer any service or product that predicts a potential divorce. These claims are false and any media outlets or authors citing that Visa has such capabilities are inaccurate and wrong.”)'
    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2010/04/06/how-mastercard-predicts-divorce.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    abc gum, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 4:52am

    Re: Re:

    In addition to face masks, ear plugs have now been placed upon a list of items which may indicate that you are a terrorist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    abc gum, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re: Here's a trick that - I just read - most journalists use

    ~ YET ~

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 5:07am

    Divorces and Separations.

    The claim about divorces does not seem implausible. When people split up, they usually establish separate households first, and then attend to the legalities after the fact. Setting up households produces certain gross economic measures, which a database can pick up. Buying a thousand dollars worth of suitably assorted housewares and groceries is a good indication that you are moving into an apartment.

    Probably, one fairly good diagnostic measure would be the purchase of airline tickets for unescorted children. The airlines tend to price tickets in such a way that taking the kids to visit grandma doesn't cost much more than sending the kids to visit grandma. That's sensible-- it is comparatively expensive to have the flight attendants look after unescorted children. That means, of course, that people who chose to pay the full rate are likely to be estranged spouses, who cannot just casually become each-other's house-guests. If you just go and stay with your ex, the family grapevine is likely to announce: "Hey, Jack and Sue are getting back together again!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Duncan, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 5:25am

    This is not creepy

    If you don't want companies to send very targeted ads to you, you must not provide them with mechanisms to track you. Pay cash, don't use store loyalty cards. Companies are sitting on terabytes of data and cost of hardware to power business warehouse systems is very affordable. So the companies buy big data solutions and hire researches to find ways to mine the data in order to find new business opportunities.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Andrew (profile), Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 11:34am

    Glad you clarified

    "Target has been highlighted for its uncanny ability to predict when women shoppers are pregnant." Whew, if you hadn't specified 'women shoppers' then I might have thought you were talking about pregnant men! :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 2nd, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: [citation needed]

    "37% of all statistics are made up anyway" - Ben Franklin

    FTFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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