Online Targeted Advertising: Lack of Privacy?

Quinlan
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Now more than ever, businesses are benefitting from targeted advertising that allows them to reach specific demographics more effectively than ever before. Businesses can create customized ads that target the exact audience they want, and they are making more money because of it.

But where does the information to make this kind of advertising possible come from? Tracking technologies allow marketers to collect personal data and profile customers so they can target them in the most effective way.

Many customers are surprised at how much marketers can actually find out about them. Their interests, personal preferences and choices are available to the marketing industry through this technology. But are marketers taking it too far?

Customers are not given a choice on whether or not they want this information shared, and most are unaware that their information is even being shared. Many customers are concerned that marketers are interfering with their privacy rights. With the inevitable development of new technology, marketers are only going to be increasing their access.

But marketers aren’t the only ones benefitting from targeted advertising. Customers are shown ads online that are likely to interest them because of the preferences that the marketers know about them. Customers are receiving information that they are likely to want in a much faster and more effective way than they could’ve received it without the technology.

So do the benefits outweigh the costs? There’s no doubt targeted advertising is beneficial to both marketers and consumers, but are marketers overstepping the line? What do you think?

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