When we talk about advertising on the web pages we visit, it is generally, in many cases, contextual advertising. In other words, a different ad will be displayed for each user depending on their browsing habits. Or put another way, information is collected from the sites we have visited so that the advertisements that are displayed approximate the information that we search or visit on the network. So I want to be tracked and displayed advertising that interests me on the pages I visit.
One of the keys to advertising success is segmentation. It is about showing the ads based on belonging to certain groups, whether by age, gender, social groups, etc. This advertising is implemented very well, for example on social networks, where we have a whole series of data in our profile that serves to segment these users. But Google also has a large amount of information about us if we use any of its services.
The Do Not Track and the Anticookies Law
If we do not have this data on the computers, we are not registered, etc. these data is collected from browsing history. That is, the websites that we have visited. So if we frequently visit a site like Xataka, advertisers tag us in the group of users interested in technology and gadgets.
Therefore, they will try to show us advertisements in the spaces provided for this purpose on the pages we visit related to technology and gadgets instead of advertisements for cars that may not interest us. In this way, this data is used to display advertising on demand for each user based on their interests.
For this, tracking cookies are used, which are responsible for collecting this information and transmitting it at the time of setting up the web so that the advertiser knows what type of advertising may be more interesting for us. The problem is that most users are unaware this happens.
The European Union has tried to solve it by legislating in this regard. The Anti-Cookie Law obliges the web pages that will incorporate these tracking cookies in our browsers to require prior consent users before installation. In this way, it is the user who decides if he wants to show a la carte or generic advertising.
Work is being done worldwide with the Do Not Track launched by Mozilla and adopted by other browsers, some like IE10 by default. It is about sending a signal that indicates to web page servers that the user does not want to be tracked, so that they do not install these tracking cookies.
It only expresses a wish of the user. Therefore it is only a recommendation not an obligation. Or in other words, the person responsible for displaying the advertisements may decide to ignore this issue, install tracking cookies in the browser and display advertisements based on the browsing habits of users. Whether it is activated by default in the configuration or not, they do not have to respect the wishes of the user.
Put ads that interest me, but not that bother me
Beyond this question of respecting the wishes of the user, whether it is necessary to collect their prior consent or not, the truth is that I do want to be shown interesting advertising on the pages I visit. It would be better for me that they show ads related to technology that are the pages I visit the most, than miracle solutions against hair loss. I am not interested, I have already lost the battle for many years.
And it is also good for advertising business. Because nobody wants to waste time trying to sell to those who are not interested in your product. As much as they show my grandmother car ads on TV, she won’t buy one. He is over eighty years old and does not have a driver’s license. This advertising does not interest you and no matter how hard you try, you will not buy a car.
More than the advertising they show us what is annoying is how they show it. As a user, what I do not like is that the advertising invades the space destined to the information that I seek or consume. Big screens that keep me waiting to see the content I want. My degree of attention in these cases shop zero. This is what bothers me, not the content of the ad itself.
A personalized advertising improves my browsing experience. It makes me discover new pages or services that may be interesting to me. There’s nothing wrong. I’ll decide later if I want to buy or not. It doesn’t seem like an invasion of my privacy. In fact, I would like a similar system to be created on television so that I do not have to swallow a battalion of advertisements that do not interest me.
In Genbeta | The W3C proposes to unify the standard “Do not Track”
Image | UofSLibrary