How your digital footprint is being used for marketing purposes
Have you ever noticed how the ads nowadays are highly customized to your preferences? It is well-known that big companies such as Facebook, use your previously collected data in order to match advertisements of companies to your digital profile. How careful should we be when it comes to leaving a digital footprint? We all have this scary thought that everybody knows everything about us: Big Brother is watching you. However, if you think about it, it has already happened. The most visible parts are the ads that are popping up when you visit a website.
You probably have noticed when you have looked prior to that website to those specific shoes, they seem to pop up in an ad the next time. For marketing purposes it is very clear. However, when we look at other examples of big data usage, there are more examples that are less obvious. How about our GPS? You may find a setting in your iPhone allowing your phone to register your most visited locations. This gives information about where you are, at what time and perhaps reason to look into this. We have all probably heard before that as long as you are not doing anything strange, this won’t hurt. However, what happens when this data is being sold without your apparent permission? Does this include you stating that you have read the terms and conditions and allowing large companies to freely use data about your behavior on the device?
Ads will be accustomed to your location. Are you looking for new shoes and are you living in Rotterdam? Then perhaps that new store in Rotterdam could be suitable for you. That is the general idea, however nowadays more people are starting to use AdBlock. This of course is not being stimulated by companies and individuals whose business model revolves around advertisements. What happens when everybody starts using AdBlock. You will think: Hooray, no ads! On contrary, this will also impact the quality of your favorite daily newspaper or blog reads. Their incomes our based upon showing ads to you. When this stops because of systems such as AdBlock, perhaps one day your online news provider will stop giving free content: Goodbye free reads.
So, what about you. How do you feel about leaving a digital footprint? And companies using this data to target you?
Author: Nini Truong (343320)