Your Privacy Is an Illusion: How MySpace Targets its Ads

There’s nothing quite like having your online profile mined for fun and profit. MySpace has revealed details of its new targeted advertising ploy to the New York Times. Not only does the system troll for overt clues like occupation, but it also analyzes the kind of music you listen to, the movies you watch, and who you’d most like to meet.
From this data it can determine whether you’re into indie rap, zombie movies, or have a thing for Samuel Jackson — and pelt you with advertisements accordingly. The system can even be used to target regional fan of a particular music genre for concert tours. “We are blessed with a phenomenal amount of information about the likes, dislikes and life’s passions of our users,” says Fox Interactive Media president Peter Levinsohn. Blessed. Thank goodness the Web’s denizens are so free with their personal information — it’s considered “digital gold.” These targeted ads are projected tol boost MySpace’s monthly revenue by $30 million. Maybe it will finally have enough free cash to fix the damn site.
{The author writes tongue-in-cheek, “Thank goodness the Web’s denizens are so free with their personal information — it’s considered “digital gold.”—–If only everyone who uses the Internet for health searches realized the exact same thing happens to any information they share with “health” sites: their highly personal data is stolen, mined, and sold. We advise you not to use the Internet for health searches—there are no laws protecting your data from theft or misuse and there are no audit trails to track who steals and sells your data. So you have no recourse for any harms like privacy violations that occur or for discrimination against you by insurers, employers, banks, and other corporations that buy your valuable data. ~ Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights}

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