Following the trail of online ads, wherever it leads – the new york times

This question makes me think of a headline from The Onion, “Exciting New App Allows Users to Be Pawns in 26-Year-Old C.E.O.’s Little Game.” I generally agree with the privacy experts, but don’t know if there are good ad-free alternatives for a lot of services that people can pay for. Maybe in the future?

There’s also so much more data being collected about our habits by an array of companies, from big tech platforms to agencies to the advertisers themselves. Huge portions of advertising dollars in the last few years have gone to the big tech giants that we read about all the time — specifically Google and Facebook and, to a lesser extent, companies like Snap.


Lately, advertisers have said they’re spending more money on Amazon. So there are still more major changes afoot.

As for how advertisers are looking at tech — it can be a double-edged sword. The ability to follow consumers wherever they go online comes with the risk that brands could end up with their ads appearing on conspiracy and extremist sites or offensive YouTube videos. Platforms like Twitter have made it easy for brands to talk to consumers, but it’s also opened them up to new criticism, demands and potential boycotts.

It’s an enormous topic within the advertising industry, which generally refers to Google and Facebook as the “duopoly.” It’s pretty remarkable that two of the world’s most valuable companies make virtually all of their money from selling online ads and dominate more than half of the American digital ad market.

Obviously, advertisers are drawn to Facebook and Google properties because people are spending lots of time there. But they’re also fast and easy to use and rely heavily on automation. Lately, we seem to be getting a crash course in how the tools that advertisers love can be misused, whether it’s in the political realm or through fraudulent or discriminatory ads. I’m interested to see how humans factor into solving some of these issues — for example, YouTube is implementing more human screening of videos to assuage advertisers’ fears about appearing on inappropriate content.

And I love the Bose wireless speaker that my boyfriend gave me for Diwali. I use it to listen to podcasts and talk on the phone while cooking or cleaning. I love that the speaker gets me away from my phone, which can charge in the meantime, and that I can use it throughout my apartment. It would be nice if it just did the cooking for me, though.

It’s hard to prevent, but you can take some steps to limit it. Explore the privacy settings on your smartphone, including which apps have access to your location and microphone and whether you allow ad tracking. Delete apps that you don’t use anymore.

Some people like ad blockers, but they can be operating their own businesses that allow ads through from advertisers that pay them. You could also check the settings for internet-connected devices like your television, and turn off certain “smart” features that could be sharing your viewing habits with third parties. When you check out at a store, you can avoid giving your phone number, email address or ZIP code. Finally, you can see and delete your ad preferences on Facebook and those for Google, too.