Browser. Facebook’s marketing industry already started the legal battle. It’s our turn now.username to dozens of third parties at once. For example, Photobucket would send your username embedded in its URLs to 31 companies. Filling out the wrong password on the Wall Street Journal website will get your email address sent to 7 companies. These websites behavior never gets mentioned in their privacy policies. And the same goes for Facebook privacy.
We make sure our advertisers, our third parties, and third parties of our third parties, know exactly who you are and what you do so that you are more susceptible to manipulation and surveillance. Facebook doesn’t explain that they use your private conversations, your browsing habits, a track record of articles you read, you listen to, things you buy, to create and maintain a unique psychological profile of your identity to store permanently and use indiscriminately by the whole industry. Tracking users activity on their own website is one thing. But actively pursuing collection of information on people’s activities on the Internet just steps over the line by miles.
People don’t know how websites work and talk to each other, so they rationally believe that what they share with Facebook, stays on Facebook. People think nobody listens to their online conversations because nobody does it in real life. People think sending emails is like sending letters in an envelope when in virtual reality, everything is visible as text on a postcard. By walking out of a brick and mortar store, your interaction with the business ends and everything you do the moment you step outside is unknown to the owner of the store. Purchase goods online with the same retailer, and suddenly it’s not enough to just pay with money.
You have to unknowingly hand over all of your past and future life as another form of payment for using their service. Technology is several steps ahead of our understanding, and society and laws haven’t caught up yet. It creates a loophole for an entire industry to flourish, while values that hold together the system in tranquility and freedom are being torn apart in the process. We might just have reached a point where we have to collectively decide world. They are all elite members of the marketing class, but the most famous names are Experian, Acxiom, Epsilon, Vidsy Adobe, and Oracle. According to a Federal Trade Commission report, seven out nine data brokers buy from or sell information from their databases to each other.
These are channeled through series of data broking companies, making it impossible to trace the original source of the particular data element. The whole industry operates on a highly clandestine nature, offering strong encryption to its clients, but near zero level protection of consumer data. Privacy for corporations, but surveillance for everyone else. Security breaches and hacker attacks are the regular routines, to which marketing industry exposes your private information. One of the biggest brokers, Epsilon, had its database breached by unknown hackers.
The breach exposed millions of email address and consumer names for Epsilon’s top clients including JPMorgan Chase, Citibank, Target, and Walgreens. It was never disclosed how much data was stolen. Given the nature of current cyber laws, we may have never heard of countless of other or you anyway. The website asks its users to update the missing data or correct if something’s wrong. Again, you would only provide them with more personal information, and confirm that your advertising ID truly matches your real identity.
In 2012, companies spent over $2 billion dollars on third-party data about individuals and billions more on credit card data, just in the United States. This personally identifiable information is used to specifically target individuals based on their unique advertising profiles. The whole process of targeted advertising happens through the mechanism called high-frequency trading. It’s derived from algorithmic trading on the stock exchange, where each transaction takes milliseconds to complete.
Transactions are decided on by bids, where the highest bidder wins. Such trading occurs in online advertisements as well. On ad exchange, marketers place their bids for ad space on websites where they identified highest prospects of success.potential breaches. Your private information could be floating around the Internet and you have no way to stop it. Acxiom adopts an all-around approach to tracking your private life. Within high circles in the company, it’s known as “360-degree view” on consumers. It uses its 40-year-old database of offline information collected from government sources and self-reported surveys, and past few decades of digital surveillance to develop its own classification system to rank consumers.
This system, called PersonicX, categorizes Internet users to one of 70 socioeconomic classes, each being marketed by its own rules. For example, this system can determine whether someone is tech savvy if they prefer to use online banking, mobile devices, are price sensitive, and come from upper-middle-class. With no spouse, they are assigned a class “savvy single”. Thus, they’ll be marketed special tech deals with price coupons to appeal to their interests and price responsiveness. Whatever there is to know about this person is used to create a personalized deal to influence them to click on the ad and make a purchase. This, however, wouldn’t be-be possible without a targeted invasion of their privacy.
The goal is to make sure a consumer buys from one of the members of their marketing chain, and not someone else. But that someone could have been a medium-sized retailer, who is in disadvantage because he doesn’t spy on your private life. This retailer gets excluded from the Internet visible to you because he is not part of the elite wolf pack. We are being told that online marketing is anonymous, so it doesn’t matter if they breach our privacy. But Acxiom proves this is the exact opposite of what marketing industry really does and wants. AbiliTec Digital, one of Acxiom’s many products, is described as “customer recognition” service.
It works to link the history of data with people’s names, nicknames, email and home addresses, and phone numbers both mobile and landline. In 2014 Acxiom’s CEO boasted to have dropped 1.1 billion third-party cookies on people visiting client’s websites. Why does he boast now? It’s a marketing technique to attract even more clients and expand the industry. Just like their website “aboutthedata.com” where you can take a peek at your data file. However, this is just a major publicity stunt.
I don’t recommend that you proceed with looking yourself up on their website. First of all, you’d have to provide various personal information, like your full name and social security number. You’d voluntarily give them even more of your private information.