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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Google's interest-based advertising is a turn-off

Google has long claimed that its motto is "Don't be evil". But with its latest development, I can't help feeling that it's sliding quickly down a very slippery slope. That's because Google now allows advertisers to target their ads according to visitors' web histories, or what it calls "interest-based advertising".

For example, if I view a lot of Nokia-related sites, then I could be presented with more Nokia ads. Or if a friend visits sites about diving, then he may see ads about diving trips.

The first question anyone should ask is: "How does Google collect all of my previous website visits?" I've attempted to answer how Google may be able to know which websites I've visited. Of course, it's all speculation at this point.

But that shouldn't stop privacy advocates and conspiracy theorists from complaining hell and high water about this new advertising development.


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