Have you experienced this? You visit a website and the advertising matches your activities and interests. How do advertising companies know our interests? Short answer: They don’t, but AdTech companies do.
Every time we connect to a webpage meta data is created and shared by its applications. Data objects like URL, page topic, page category, approximate location, application version and even device information could be tracked. AdTech companies process the collected data through automated data mining. In this way they identify specific demographic, behaviorale or even political user groups.
Now AdTechs don’t sell this data directly, since it is too valuable. But they offer services like targeted online advertising via auction-based platforms. They name this service real time bidding. Interested companies must bid for ad content space (ad impressions) for a specific user group. After they win the current auction their product ads are published instantly / real-time at that precise moment you open a web page or any web based application.
The real time bidding marketing share is massive. In 2018 it was globally over 4 billion USD and it is even expected to grow to over 18 billion USD by the year 2023, because of the increase of smart device users and the all time growing Internet of Things.
What can you do about it? In short: Protect your privacy.
- Use Spybot Anti-Beacon to block tracking items on your Windows PC.
- Use InPrivate/private browsing modes in your browsers.
- Use ad blockers
- Block unnecessary cookies
- Use other well-known secure search engines
- We suggest Brave, a secure browser that protects user privacy
Stay tuned, more information to come soon.