michaelant, on 28 January 2013 - 02:28 PM, said:
Other than an understandably creepy feeling some may have about targeted advertising (which I don't happen to share) does anyone have a concrete example of how targeted advertising could be harmful? If I have to get ads, I actually want them to be relevant to me. And no, I have no vested interest. I'm not a marketer, etc.
Since the tracking algorithms are proprietary, it's hard to come up with "concrete" examples. We don't know what they know, so we don't know how they might be using it against us. That's part of the problem: advertisers get data on us, but we don't know what they know, how they use it, or who they even are.
One simple hypothetical example: an marketer determines that you are a loyal customer of Company X. As a result, you are never given discount coupons for discounted products from Company X, since the company knows you'll buy its stuff anyway; meanwhile, other customers are regularly offered discounts for Company X products.
Frankly, I never want to see ads that are "relevant" to me. I want to see ads for, say, retirement communities and feminine products and children's action figures, which are easy for me to ignore and have zero chance of enticing me to part with my money. I have never had a problem finding things to spend it on even without advertisers' assistance.