Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Google To Let Consumers Edit Their Interests

Why do I have to see car ads. I just leased a new vehicle and I am absolutely not interested in getting another. The new hot metric in advertising is behavioral, targeted to interest and intent. But, wouldn't it be nice to proactively tell sites what I am interested in and what I absolutely don't want to see.

And while we try so hard to protect our privacy, our every tap on a pc is counted and tracked. "Perhaps to forestall objections to its approach, Google said it planned to offer new ways for users to protect their privacy. Most notably, Google will be the first major company to give users the ability to see and edit the information that it has compiled about their interests for the purposes of behavioral targeting. Like rivals such as Yahoo, it also will give users the choice to opt out from what it calls 'interest-based advertising.'"

Could this same behavioral web approach be adapted for TV. Through cable TV, the set top box offers the same opportunity to interact, to customize and to reach targeted audiences. I always keep wondering though, what would happen if I became an undesirable consumer.

How proactive will users be to update their profiles. Perhaps it depends on how often we are proactively reminded that we have the ability to edit. Like most things that run in the background, out of sight, out of mind. Even though I may opt out of certain types of ads, there is still no guarantee that they won't be run.

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