February 5, 2018

How To Opt Out Of Online Behavioural Based Advertising




Advertisers are spying on you. If you have ever researched a purchase online, you probably notice that advertisements for that product or item will start coming up all over the place as you navigate the internet. That is the result of spying, or what is called "interest based or behavioural advertising", and some people (including me) find it intrusive.

I do not often look at commercial websites online since I don't usually need anything. But in the event that I do need to make a purchase, I like to make sure it is the best one for me. I like to be prepared before buying anything, and usually research every purchase thoroughly.

What I don't like is having to look at ads for that product online for a few days after. These behavioural ads are based on your interests, shown by past online activity, geographic location, and other ads you have seen. So basically, private for-profit corporations are spying on me in order to influence my behaviour.

That sounds a bit like the NSA, which is "responsible for global monitoring, collection, and processing of information and data for foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes, specializing in a discipline known as signals intelligence."

Like Behavioural Advertising, what could possibly go wrong there? The NSA is well known for having "a cavalier attitude toward the law and decency." Just like advertisers.

One can not trust any of them. "They are", as my dad used to say, "up to no good."

I think I am the only person that should know about my past online activity, and how can I hide from them if they know my geographic location? Surveillance and advertising in the modern world - you can run, but you can't hide.

Behavioural advertising is a creepy invasion of my privacy, and it is an unwelcome intrusion on my expensive and limited bandwidth on our sub-par rural internet system. I ordered an internet connection, not an advertising connection. It's just that you can't get one without the other.

Therefore, I was happy when I found recently that there might be a way to stop online advertisers from using information about what websites you visit to target you with ads they calculate will be a behavioural trigger to get you to make a purchase.

But it is important to note that opting out does not mean you will no longer see ads. What it means (maybe) is that the ads you see will no longer be targeted to pique your own personal deep and dark desires, as calculated by some logarithm.

Something like this should be opt-IN, not opt-out. No one asked my permission before they started collecting my private information. We should not have to spend precious time to try to get this unwanted and creepy stalking to stop.

Having said that, the following are some sites that purport to stop behavioural programming (advertising) on your computer.


These are just some of the websites that can be used to opt out of interest or behavioural based advertising. I have my doubts about their effectiveness, but have tried some out anyway to see if I can stop at least some of the invasive snooping. 

The only sure way to make sure you aren't being spied on by advertisers (or the NSA) is to be Amish, or at least live like you are. If you choose to stay online, the above opt-out websites may help.




5 comments:

  1. Gregg, I couldn't agree more with every single word you said. It is terribly unsettling and disturbing to me to be monitored, sold to, manipulated and violated like we are online. It angers me greatly. Sometimes I wonder how I could possibly stop using the internet at all. That doesn't seem realistic though. I appreciate these links you've provided which sound like they could help a bit.
    Terri

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree Terri. It's one of the many reasons why I gave up Facebook. I don't buy much anyway but also seriously going back to more expensive bricks and mortar stores, rather than buying online. We've swapped the value of convenience for the more sinister loss of privacy....and that's a price I'm no longer willing to pay.

      Delete
  2. There are a number of ways to stop monitoring, this article has some good advice and I've used number of these including privacy badger, do not track me and secure http:

    https://lifehacker.com/the-best-browser-extensions-that-protect-your-privacy-479408034/amp

    To avoid backdoors and the majority of viruses use open source software as opposed to closed source (commercial) software. Linux is the best while BSD has a limited user base, but is very secure.
    To go furter use Tails and Tor, but using this is step to far for most people.
    Don't volunteer your information to Facebook or other social media.
    Understand how you are being targeted and tricks that are being used.
    Peace,
    Alex

    ReplyDelete
  3. I too find it highly invasive and concerning. What I find even more concerning is that if I have looked at a product online that same product can then appear in advertising on the screen of other household members. This completely rattled me the first time I saw it. We are all with the same internet provider. So in theory if one was wanting to buy a gift for a family member to surprise them an ad for that item could then appear on their screen. My use of internet shopping is mostly for more prosaic items like organic food or soap, but it does feel rather invasive that others then know what you've been up to whether you like it or not!

    Madeleine.x

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have an AD blocker on my computer, I don't have a phone....well only the one that's attached to the wall.

    I never see any ads, the only problem is, more and more sites will block me.....which is their right, fair is fair after all.
    I no longer watch TV or read magazines so my life is mostly ad free......which takes me out of the cultural loop.

    Marie

    ReplyDelete

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