Net Profiling Lures Advertisers

from the we-know-who-you-are dept

Ever since online advertising first started, one of the “exciting and new” features was the ability (in theory) to better target the ads. Of course, this required you to actually know some information about the person who was viewing those ads. Every time companies tried to make use of this information they either found that it didn’t work very well, or people became upset with the privacy implications. Now, advertisers are trying to move forward with the next generation of such targeting technologies by watching where you surf and putting you into distinct categorizations such as “car buffs”, “consumer techies”, or “health enthusiasts”. These will then help the sites provide targeted ads, even if they’re not viewing related content at that moment. This really doesn’t sound all that different than previous attempts at this sort of thing (DoubleClick, specifically, tried to do this). However, with the growing realization that many people simply tune out almost all online advertising not associated with something they are directly searching for, I wonder how much this matters.

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