Insights · March 24th, 2009
Behavioral targeting of advertising has been around for a long time. The seriousness of this game was increased when Google bought Double-Click a couple of years ago. In the last two weeks there was a flurry of news as Google announced an escalation of this approach to advertising. Google is testing enhanced tracking of individual browser activity, and the use of that information to better target ads to the individual at Google partner sites and at YouTube.
This news once again raised public issues about privacy and transparency. Gerd Leonhard, media futurist, and I discussed these issues recently in a new video we made for our joint project, whereisitgoing.com. My concern, long term, is how the world works when the experience that each individual has is, well, so individual? This may be a good thing, but without some common threads, will the cultural fabric unravel?