[PET] Why Johnny Can’t Opt Out: A Usability Evaluation of Tools to Limit Online Behavioral Advertising

andrew at lewman.com andrew at lewman.com
Tue Nov 15 04:35:54 GMT 2011

On Tue, Nov 08, 2011 at 08:06:00PM +0000, yannye at gmail.com wrote 3.6K bytes in 48 lines about:
: Do you think OBA is a hindrance to technology or is it becomes a norm nowadays. If not, how website will make profits. IMHO, to should be better way of handling this from the user perspectives.

These are my thoughts. OBA isn't good enough to freak people out yet.
A normal person doesn't see the aggregate data collection behind the
scenes. Conversely, the ads aren't targeted enough to be useful and
creepy at once. Facebook has made some progress in co-opting friends'
images for ads, but even so, not generally creepy enough.

The general populace may not understand until ads/spam become targeted
in near real time. Such as,

"Hello Mr. Jones,
Would you like to learn how Preparation H is better than the generic
cream you bought at your local Duane Reade on 32nd street today? click
here to learn more and save 10% off your next purchase."

Once an ad company figures out how to let you see all of the data they've
collected about you, in order to better serve you ads, then people may realize
what is going on. Amazon lets me see everything I've given them through
my profile and purchases, but not what they've collected and collated
about me overall. How this larger set of data feeds into the ad and
recommendation networks is what I'm interested in learning. I sometimes
see some very odd recommendations. This makes me wonder if it is Amazon
experimenting or my data is crossed/corrupted in some way. 

I'm making an assumption that the OBA from Amazon is based on what they
know and what they infer about me. 

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