Monday, April 29, 2013

Google Brother is Watching You

A couple of days ago I wrote a blog post about Bioshock Infinite. A few days before that I went looking for graphics cards on the internet and at some stage I visited the website of a company called Overclockers. Today I log into Youtube and the first ad I am presented with is this:

Has someone invented the sport of trying to deliberately confuse advert profiling yet? Sci Fi Fans for instance who set their log on page to the romantic novels section of Amazon for instance.

By the way I should point out that is actually a very good shop so I don't begrudge them their bit of targeted advertising. It is just another jarring reminder that big data probably already knows more about me than I know myself.


Gankalicious said...

Yea, I get these all the time too. I figure I'm one step ahead of them though because I get a huge amount of World of Tanks ads which is a game I'm already playing!

mbp said...

Gank you may just have spotted a flaw in the whole online advertising model. They are very good at showing you adverts for stuff you have already bought but not so good at predicting what you are going to need next.

Eutheos said...

You might just go ahead and use adblockers. Apart from that, opting out of targeted advertising is a good first step. Then there is some greasemonkey obfuscating scripts available for Firefox. I see next to no advertising while browsing and the one I see is wildly irrelevant, just the way I like it.

mbp said...

I don't like ad blockers Eutheos. I guess I feel a moral obligation to allow ads adds as payback for all the wonderful free stuff we get on the internet. On a more pragmatic level I am sure that if everyone blocked ads the we wouldn't have an internet.

I will admit I used to use add blockers but that was about a decade ago when bandwidth was very slow and ads were very intrusive. They have become less intrusive partly due to broadband but partly due to better ad design. The privacy thing is a bit worrying I guess but for the moment I put up with it. I don't really have anything to hide. I do have a niggling worry about what would happen if some disreputable government got it's hands on all that data.