There’s no world in which you can have both ideal and relevant internet advertising and also complete privacy. Instead, the internet is an entire ecosystem of give and take around data, tracking and science. The internet itself is inherently public, making it so the delicate data ecosystem can go off the rails when used improperly or illegally. However, when used ethically and responsibly, advertising, the internet, and user tracking itself can be helpful and beneficial to all sides.
Want to know why you’re seeing ads for that thing you were just thinking about on Instagram? Or why perhaps you’re seeing things that have absolutely no relevance to you? Learn more on this week’s episode of The World According to Craig, when Craig sits down with Kevin Weisberg of Optimad Media, a media expert who can help us understand the ins and outs of targeted advertising and what privacy really means.
“If your choice is, do I want privacy or I don’t want privacy, you’re going to say I want privacy. But those aren’t actually the choices,” explains Weisberg. “It’s not black and white like that. It’s what level of helpfulness and targeting assist you, and what level of information are you going to give to get that helpfulness.”
We have created the “false choice” question of whether you want privacy or not. The question should actually be: How much privacy do you want versus how relevant do you want the internet to be? There’s so much information out there, without data and tracking, it would be impossible to find what you want.
There’s a popular misconception that your phone is listening to you. It’s not. Advertising algorithms are just now so advanced that they might as well have ears. Advertisers are not looking to track you just to track you; everyone is looking to find the most relevant consumers – and be the most helpful they can to sell products. They don’t make money if they don’t give you something you want. So, naturally, they’re trying to find the most relevance.