Thursday, March 12



Google is introducing a new form of advertising it has dubbed “interest-based advertising” using information it garners from internet users’ website visits to target them with ads that are likely to be of interest.-based advertising, often called behavioural targeting, was launched overnight in the US in its beta, or testing, phase and Google is expecting to launch the ads later in the year in Australia.

While Google admitted other online operators are already using similar methods, it claims the extent of its reach and content network will be a unique opportunity for advertisers.

Google’s vice-president of product management Wojcicki announced the new ad form in a posting on its Public Policy blog, saying: “To date, we have shown ads based mainly on what your interests are at a specific moment. So if you search for “digital camera” on Google, you’ll get ads related to digital cameras. If you are visiting the website of one of our Adsense partners, you would see ads based on the content of the page. There are some situations, however, where a keyword or the content of a web page simply doesn’t give us enough information to serve highly relevant ads.”

To add to these systems Google will now “associate categories of interest – say sports, gardening, cars, pets – with your browser, based on the types of sites you visit and the pages you view. We may then use those interest categories to show you more relevant text and display ads.”

Google insists it is using measures to ensure transparency and privacy, and to give users a choice about whether they want to be targeted in this way. Wojcicki said users can click on ads to see how they are served, combined with an “ads preferences manager” which lets users view and delete categories associated with a user’s browser. Users can opt out of the Google Adsense network also, with a plug-in for their browers, she added.

Comment by Think:
This new product of Google's AdSense line requires web masters to make changes to the privacy policy of their web sites, which raises my concern. Can Googles be trusted not to misuse such intimate information for Big Brother purposes? Many governments and illegitimate Super States, such as the European Union, have introduced unethical laws that allow city bureaucrats, state employees and feds to track profiles of our intimate preferences and habits based on our online activities in the name of fighting a illusive "War on Terror".

While I see a legitimate use for the product in an open society, the fact remains, that this product will make it even easier for Big Brother to profile its citizens. The legal implications have yet to be investigated, and the fact remains: Governments are only able to carry out their activities with the complicity of the people. How easy will we make it for them?

Think and Stay Safe!

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