Introduction to Online Behavioral Advertising.
There are web technologies called “clear gifs” or “web beacons.” When you land on a website, there are clear images embedded into the website that will read information from the cookies on your computer. These “clear gifs” can read where you’ve been online and “track” your whereabouts and online interests.
Most online searches and webpages use some sort of clear gifs and/or leave cookies on your computer. (Also, when you receive a nice colorful newsletter in your Inbox, it is highly likely that it uses a clear gif. Your actions, e.g., clicks, forwards, opens, with regard to that email are being reported back to the email sender – I’ll expand on this in another post.)
Google Adsense cost consumers nothing but companies that want to have their ads displayed pay a hefty price. Common searches such as “Cyber Monday” or “Christmas gifts” will often be sold to a company for upwards to 20K or 30K per day. (Not surprising Google became a Billion dollar company, huh?!) Google sells search terms and ensures the purchaser of those terms to get a steady flow of “ready to buy” (after all, you just “Googled” it so you must be ready to buy… right?) consumers to its website. Google promises to bring users to the website but it is up to the company to covert you into a purchaser. This is known as conversion. The more the companies pays, the more “ready to buy”users Google will send.
The Problem: Google craves more relevant data which means tracking technology will only become more invasive. The more detail Google knows about you, the more money it will make. Many are concerned about what will happen if these online advertising techniques continue to grow and go unchecked. Hence, internet advertising gave birth to the concept of Online Privacy, the Consumer Bill of Rights and US Privacy Law.
Wanna learn more?
- Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) Privacy
Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA) is one of the fastest growing and most successful forms of advertising. The following resources are available to help you learn more about OBA, the DAA, consumer opinions on privacy & behavioral advertising, and TRUSTe privacy solutions.
- What is OBA?
For purposes of this guide, online behavioral advertising (OBA) refers to the collection of information about online activities and Web viewing behaviors, over time and across non-affiliate websites, to deliver tailored ads. In a nutshell, OBA allows companies to match ads to a consumer’s interests, determined over time.
- FTC Staff Proposes Online Behavioral Advertising Privacy Principles
To address important consumer privacy concerns associated with online behavioral advertising, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission today released a set of proposed principles to guide the development of self-regulation in this evolving area.
Wanna Opt Out of Online Tracking?
One way is to install Google’s advertising cookie opt-out plugin.
You can access plugin here. Just click on the blue box and your browser will do the rest.