Tune In, Drop Out

eye spy Those wily “consumers.”  Despite overclass needs, ordinary people strongly and clearly oppose “behavioral targeting,” i.e. use of the internet for spying by big business marketers.  Even when the question is loaded in favor of the overclass by inclusion of language about corporate marketing making websites free, 61 percent still say “no” to the practice.

Of course, from the overclass perspective, behavioral targeting is exactly and precisely the main reason the internet exists.  Real-time tracking of individuals’ reactions, preferences, and behaviors has always been a core goal of the ever-expanding practice of marketing research.

Hence, popular preferences are simply unacceptable:

Marketers defending behavioral targeting have argued in part that the public might not understand how much this advertising fuels free websites. “Because there’s been so much scare-mongering, people have been frightened about behavioral advertising,” said John Montgomery, chief operating officer of GroupM Interaction, a unit of WPP. “People are now equating it to something more pernicious.”

Consumers need to realize that the growth and innovation in online advertising, which increasingly relies on behavioral targeting, underpins the free web that consumers want, Mr. Montgomery said [to Advertising Age magazine].

This shit ain’t stopping, in other words.

Meanwhile, if you are so inclined, take a look at this little band-aid, the marketing trade’s attempt at “self-policing.” It allows you to “opt out” of being behaviorally targeted by the handful of voluntary participants. In the process, it also reveals how laughable self-policing always is. My run of the tool showed that only 10 of the 59 firms that admit to using Firefox as a behavioral tracker allow me a successful opt-out through this avenue.

One Reply to “Tune In, Drop Out”

  1. I very much appreciate consumertrap.com and the insight you provide to areas of corporate capitalist society that I found previously difficult to explore on my own. This article is a precise display of the reasons why I configure my browser the way that I do (convenience added with a little add-on called QuickJava), much to the perplexity of my family and friends. SilerLight, Java, Flash, Javascript and even Images all stay turned off by default until I need them specifically (as for use with the captcha image below). Even a seemingly simple (in appearance) webpage will often load hundreds or thousands of lines of JavaScript behind the scenes to feed information to tools like Google Analytics or other such products and to be honest I’d rather not waste my processing resources with essentially useless script-fluff and visual noise that the vast majority of these things on the net boil down to anyway.

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