Behavioral advertising, also known as behavioral targeting or behavioral marketing, is when an advertiser or advertising server hooks into the data that is stored by your browser or app, to serve you interested based ads. These things tell the advertisers and networks things such as what searches you recently conducted, what sites you visited, etc.. Behavioral advertising is increasingly being used by advertisers and their publishers (Facebook just announced they are using behavioral advertising), and consumers are becoming increasingly concerned for their privacy. So how can you opt-out of behavioral advertising?
Facebook says that they are “improving Facebook ads” – but for whom? For themselves, of course, because remember, you are not Facebook’s customer – you are their commodity. This new development means that Facebook is now using what is known as ‘behavioral advertising’ (when it’s on their website), or ‘remarketing’ (if their ads are following you around). Basically Facebook is using your data from your browser use – and your mobile app use – when you are not on Facebook – to target ads to you.
Remarketing is a term you are likely to start hearing more of, with the buzz about the possiblity of a Do Not Track registry. This is both because remarketing is one of the leading uses for online tracking of consumers’ movements on the Internet and across the web, and because remarketing is one of the big reasons that Internet advertisers, Internet marketers, and their lobbying organizations oppose a Do Not Track list. Remarketing, you see, is online advertising that follows you around the web or, as we call it, stalkvertising.
Yesterday the Feds, through the Federal Trade Commission, came out in support of a request by several NGOs to create a “Do Not Track” registry, similar to the current “Do Not Call” and “Do Not Send Junk Mail” registries, only in this case the tracking referred to in “Do Not Track” is the online tracking of Internet users across the web, tracking the websites they visit with cookies and other tracking technologies, in much the way that Facebook and their partners are currently tracking people. Among other things, this tracking allows them to have their ads follow you around the web in a practice known as ‘remarketing’ or ‘re-marketing’.