Who is watching what you search online?

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It is scary to think that everything that you search online or on your smart phone, what you buy with your credit card, and what you post on social media is online forever. What is scarier is that companies are targeting their target audiences by tracking their searches and aiming their advertisements at them. I don’t know about you, but I feel as if that is an invasion of privacy in some sort. I am looking up so many different things a day, maybe for a class or maybe just something I am interested in and companies are able to find that information from where ever and target their products at me! It is a very smart tactic but how far is too far. 

“Some are selling consumer-specific data for purposes that fall right on–or just beyond– the boundaries of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and other laws.” (Brill, J.). The fact that companies are willing to sell information based on what people are searching is outrageous. I understand you are able to find your target audience and aim your advertisements toward them but selling information is a little too much in my opinion. “Still others are collecting and using big data to make sensitive predictions about consumers, such as those involving their health conditions, sexual orientation and religion” (Brill, J.) I believe that this is the best way to not invade consumers privacy but also experimenting with your target audience. 

“Social networking has enabled brands and organisations to become storytellers.” (Romo, J.) I feel that companies use the information that they learn from their target audience and aim it to attract consumers through social media. There are several different audiences online, companies use the information they find online and try to attract all of their audiences through social media. They try to find the best way to pitch their stories online that will attract the most audiences, by learning the most information about consumers they should be able to successfully do this. 

I am interested in who is selling my information and what companies they are selling to. If you were asked to find out what your target audience had been searching online, would you do it? Do you think it is fair that companies are getting this information in order to target their consumers? Do you think there is a way to protect ourselves from companies selling our information?

 

References:

http://adage.com/article/guest-columnists/data-industry-step-protect-consumer-privacy/244971/

Romo, J. (2012). Share This: The Social Media Handbook For PR Professionals. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

http://www.google.com

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