A few weeks ago I wrote about how Google was using “behavioral targeting” to tailor advertising to specific indivials that would, presumably, be more receptive. And I thought it was a great idea (especially since it didn’t violate privacy by targeting advertising linked to your name, demographic information, etc).
In another article publicished in the overly Pulizer-Prized New York Times, they discuss how cell companies are leveraging similar tactics for mobile advertising. Something I am also hugly in favor of.
Basically moble providers know a lot about their users. What apps they download, mobile sites they visit, etc. Plus, GPS allows them to potentially track your location. Urban Spoon and Yelp for example use your specific GPS location to reccomend resturants and so on. Quite convienent. So if they know our location, our intertests, our sex, our age, our everything, won’t we only get the “stuff” that is interesting to us? I doubt it will ever be that precise, but it’s a nice dream. We’re still going to get SPAM and other crap that advertisers “think” we want.
But some ethical issue arise from all of this according to the NYTs article:
“It’s potentially a portable, personal spy,” said Jeff Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, who will appear before Federal Trade Commission staff members this month to brief them on privacy and mobile marketing. He is particularly concerned about data breaches, advertisers’ access to sensitive health or financial information, and a lack of transparency about how advertisers are collecting data. “Users are going to be inclined to say, sure, what’s harmful about a click, not realizing that they’ve consented to give up their information.”
Thoughts? I don’t think they will ever get to the point where they are going to use, or even need, our “sensitive” medical information to sell products, but who knows?