Personal Advertising

catherine prestoy, reporter

Say a person just sent an email to their friend talking about a new book they enjoy. Once they receive a response from the friend, a bunch of ads will pop up about the book. Information regarding bookstores that carry the book and other additional information will flash across the screen. Personal advertising strikes again.

Personal ads are made in the hopes for a higher probability for you to click on them and are used by finding keywords in your messages. This is how freshman girls get their ads for makeup and adults get their ads for auto insurance. Google gets most of its money from advertising, so it understandably pours a lot of money into advertising research.

The result: advertisements tailored specifically to a person’s preferred pastimes and hobbies.

However, it’s doubtful that there are little hobbit people behind computers keeping surveillance on your inbox deep in the catacombs of Google.

Personal ads are filtered through programming, not people. Although the programming is made by the people, it’s improbable company’s workers sneak a peek into your email from time to time.

Though, you can’t see what they’re doing behind the scenes. What companies are saying they’re doing with advertising one day can change the next. Companies find key words in emails and tell advertisers that the person might be a potential customer. This is where the invasion of privacy issues come into play. “This customer” might change into “Catherine Prestoy” the next day. Companies will do almost anything to find a customer and will keep advertising to that customer if it means business.

The truth about personalized ads is that they’re just made for an easier and quicker way for a person to access information. On the ad settings page on Google, they use the example of someone searching up the words “New York”, “Travel”, and “Hotels”. Google would take these keywords and show ads like “Hotels in New York” or “Travel to New York.”

Personal ads aren’t meant as an invasion of privacy but rather a quicker way for a person who uses Google to receive information or a quicker way for businesses to receive money.

To eliminate personal ads, go to your email and in the upper right-hand corner click “Why this ad?”, go to ad settings and opt out any unwanted ads and prevent them from coming back.

Since selling names means money for internet service providers, this also means there’s no charge to the customer. This is a plus to having personalized ads; however, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s not against the law to give a person’s name and URL to a company in order to gain funds.

Even though companies are assuring everybody they are keeping their information private, they might be giving out names to advertising businesses while still keeping everything legal.

So, next time don’t think of companies filing through random emails. Think of companies handing out names to advertisers in the ambition of people looking at their products.

Personal ads have their positive and negative sides. Before becoming paranoid on something that isn’t there, look up some facts. Personal advertising is easily disabled so it can become one less thing you’re worried about.