As I sit cheek-to-cheek side-by-side with my wife, we both working on our very own projects at our very own computers and she starts telling me about some coding-trick she just discovered, I hiss "could you, pleeze!, let me work on my stuff - I am busy!!" - and as she glances over she sees that personalized ad on a financial website I just sift through: some voluptuous, smiling girls and the line "looking for an exciting date?". AHA! You are busy, huh?
Damn! What can I do about the Ads google pushes there?
Oh, she is not stupid, types the same URL in her identical browser and at the position where I have that click-for-chicks-Ad she gets a cute little advertisement on health-food. :/
I reload my site. "time for nature - discover marokko" - ha! She reloads "investment-strategies", I "cars"…. and on we go, fortunately diving deep into randomness. So, obviously, our privacy-settings are good enough to feed us not-so-personalized advertisements. And so we go on working on our projects … while I reload the site some more times to get another glance at the dangerously attractive first ad.
Thinking about it, personalized advertisements are not bad after all.
When you happen to live in Berlin and have shown interest in theater, isn't it better to get some commercial suggestions on upcoming shows in your neighborhood than annoying stuff about cruise-ships and wellness-hotels? The unease results from the background data-collection and complex evaluation that google does while you use it's browser. It does not only help them target you for ad-campaigns. Who knows what else they might be interested in.
The good thing: you have a choice. You can opt-out of the personalized ad service from google - and supposedly the data-collection is stopped then.
Find a quick 'how-to' here:http://www.reputation.com/how_to/how-to-opt-out-of-googles-ad-preferences/
If just like today I am looking around on buying a few new mirrors for my apartment I enjoy seeing some more mirrors throughout the day ... well maybe not all day but ... you get the point.
And if once in a while stuff gets too messy and they offer you birds, birds and more birds bcs you GAVE AWAY your petbirds a few weeks ago you can still clean your browser and there you go again with the usual datingsite-ads.
I guess you're right pointing at the cumulation of data in big firms' hands - no problem at all, *as far* as I can see, but if we follow, like in "my" environmental policy area, the *precautionary* principle, we should give information only in a *lean* way, if possible.
However, it's also entertaining: When I GMail for the next table tennis match, the equipment shows up immediately on screen. It will be similar with often searching for fine art nude photography with oh-so-voluptuous, danger-smil..eh... ok, the ~ END ~ ;-D
(Dear Carsten, you may cut the last to save your marriage, or put in "Morocco" instead! ;-D )