Social Question

mazingerz88's avatar

Should the way corporations pursue people at lightning speed with ads on the internet to the point of invading privacy be stopped?

Asked by mazingerz88 (26782points) February 15th, 2021
14 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

If yes, who has the power to stop these companies from hounding people with the same ads that keep showing up on every site a person visits?

As an example, I was in a Facebook dinosaur group and asked a member a question about the size of the dino whose picture he posted. He answered with a link.

I clicked on it and right away I saw photo ads of things I either purchased a few hours ago or simply seen from other websites.


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Inspired_2write's avatar

Facebook is paid by those exact corporations to place ads on it. Thus its Facebook and such websites to address this.
Its the price of free sites that we assume are free but in reality it isn’t directly.
Since ads are allowed.
P.S. just do not click onto those ads and soon they will realize that one will not be persuaded to do so .
On my Fb account when an ad appears I report and FB not only removes it but prevents it coming onto my screen.
Lately I have been doing this to ALL ads and see less of them now.

sadiesayit's avatar

Government laws/regulations would be what’s needed to stop it (or to give citizens the right to control how their data is used). From what I understand, internet privacy laws are behind the times but as awareness increases around online data and privacy, things are slowly changing.

If you live in CA, for example, a consumer privacy rights act was passed within the past year. When I visit websites for the first time I am increasingly seeing a pop-up that asks me to accept or reject various cookies the website would otherwise have run, and I believe this is to be in compliance with the privacy laws in my state, but it may just be a result of parallel awareness. I don’t know that the act addresses all online privacy or data concerns, but it’s a start.

elbanditoroso's avatar

It isn’t really a question of should. That’s what they do, because we, the people let them.

@sadiesayit and @Inspired_2write have it right – regulations and laws are the only way to fix the issue. But – I fear it is too late and will never be changed.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

Advertisements pay for the free services like Facebook. The only way around it is for the free services to charge a small fee.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m fine with ads.

gorillapaws's avatar

How much are you willing to pay for Facebook every month, or even Fluther for that matter. Your answer better be higher than what advertisers are willing to pay for access to a person of your age, gender, income level, location, and interests…

Zaku's avatar

Yes, it’s an evil and potentially damaging invasion of privacy, and a computer security violation.

Making software that enables that kind of perversion of the user’s own computer and their own activities to serve the purposes of greed-based organizations is a violation of the owner of the hardware as well as the individual human.

More software should be developed that aggressively detects such misbehavior, alerts the user, and shuts it down.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Are you serious @Zaku???

Zaku's avatar

Yes. It’s going to get worse and worse until there’s some counter-reaction. Currently, if you go to many web pages that look like they’re just showing you some text and images, there’s generally an INSANE amount of active crap going on, being loaded to your computer and running on your computer, mining information that they don’t tell you about, uses your resources, and that almost no one wants them to be doing.

Not to mention what goes on on a “smart” phone.

Just because it’s not something most people know about, think about, or object to, doesn’t mean it’s not nasty evil crap that’s insidiously designed into operating systems, web browsers, mobile device apps, etc.

It needs to be brought to public awareness as headed off by pro-individual-human privacy and personal device sovereignty technologies.

It’s nowhere near as evil as global warming or Trumpism, etc, but it is evil and should be stopped.

mazingerz88's avatar

@Zaku Yes. It’s more than pushing ads in every site we visit it’s the fact that they can trace and record our habits, routines, affiliations and secrets we intend to keep.

I’m pissed because I know they’re doing such record keeping that one day the result of their abuse of data mining will all explode in our faces being clueless consumers who are also willing guinea-pigs it seems.

gorillapaws's avatar

True story: there was a bariatric surgeon who ran a weight loss surgery ad campaign that targeted anyone who had been to any of the divorce attorneys in his city for the past x months.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@gorillapaws interesting anecdote.

Let’s change the situation a bit.

Suppose there were a bariatric surgeon who, in his spare time, hung out at the courthouse. Once a week he went into the County Clerk’s office and got a printout of all the people who had filed for divorce in the previous week. (These are public records).

Then he took those records to his office and contacted the parties to the divorce filing.

Would that be illegal? (no!) Unethical? (I don’t see how).

Zaku's avatar

@elbanditoroso Despite your ethics on the situation, I’d say the more accurate analogous analog situation would be a barbaric surgeon who (personally, or through a network of informants), staked out the offices of divorce attorneys and then followed those people to determine who they were somehow.

i.e. There is a major issue of privacy, the reasonable expectation thereof, and gross violation of both, on a massive scale made easy and nearly undetectable by technology and out of control business practices by software companies who claim to make products and provide services for customers, but are also selling customer information to big corporations.

dabbler's avatar

@Zaku I’m not really disagreeing with you, I think there’s a problem.
However, “the reasonable expectation (of privacy)” in online apps is ZERO.
IF one actually reasons out why the apps exist and how their owners get paid, one sees there is every incentive to do things the way they do them.

Besides lack of accountability for the social media apps, the problem is that people have no information or bad information about how the WorldWideWeb works and how the businesses built on it make money. If people knew more about that then they would expect no privacy, and/or they would clamor for intelligent regulation of online resources.

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