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Smart Ads A Major Privacy Issue

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Smart Ads A Major Privacy Issue

The industry refers to them as smart marketing ads, but some online ads are just so spot-on in all that they reveal about their target audience, that they give a great deal away about just how little privacy we have left, and just how large the scale of data-collection by major companies actually is.

Consider Lisa Clyburn’s predicament. Lisa recently just had to give herself a tap on the shoulder when she finally came up with the perfect Christmas gift for her nine-year old son. When the Edmonton child psychologist saw an ad for a feline-themed logic game, she knew that she had discovered the holy grail of what the perfect gift for her son would be, who happened to love cats as well as card-games.

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Giving It All Away

Lisa’s Christmas cheer was however short-lived, as she now fears that she may have inadvertently alerted her son to what he was getting for Christmas and in so doing, may have spoiled the surprise. It all went bottoms-up when the smitten mother pulled out her phone to show her son a funny cat video that she had come across on Facebook.

It wasn’t as much the video that was the problem, but rather the fact that the game that she had previously ordered online, the one that was supposed to go into her cat-crazy son’s stocking, suddenly popped up in her feed. As luck would have it (or rather, not have it!) the feed caught the boy’s eye.

Lisa is convinced that the product would not have caught the boy’s eye in any other set-up. Her surprise had effectively been spoiled by smart online marketing ads.

Spoiler Alert!

Sadly, Lisa isn’t the only one to have fallen victim to the issue of spoiled surprises. Many others have reported similar instances of a shared computer or smartphone having revealed details about gifts and events that were supposed to have remained a secret and a surprise; romantic getaways, season’s tickets, and in one instance, even an engagement ring! So much for having given away the most exciting bit about a marriage proposal; the element of surprise!

Some internet users have gone all out to try and remedy the situation by creating all sorts of decoy-searches so as to avoid their loved-ones from following their digital tracks like a pack of modern-day blood hounds!

Experts, however, are concerned about the levels of intensity at which marketing companies are now gleaning consumer information. A complete lack of privacy isn’t really anyone’s idea of a good time, and one can only imagine the security risks that go hand in hand with these levels of scouting for personal preferences and information.

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