Aggressive Advertising

It’s easy to see tech companies as a monolithic villain in the battle over consumer privacy. But in fact, there are countless tech companies, like mine, that believe that people have a fundamental right to avoid being put under surveillance and that it should be easy for them to exercise that right.

Gabriel Weinberg –

What a great quote.

Unfortunately, the majority of the tech companies that matter don’t consider what they’re doing as ‘surveillance’. The argument generally heard is that through abstraction of the mass amount of data privacy is maintained. Through looking at groups of individuals and their data, instead of the individuals themselves, no one’s privacy is being violated because the data is anonymized.

Unfortunately its not the identity of information that has the undesired impact, but the detailed level of knowledge that leads to intimate feelings of a privacy violated. Intricate patterns in our behavior are elevated in a completely objective view through data. This allows those who can see and understand the data, a deeply intimate insight into human nature.

Some might argue that this knowledge puts the data owners at an advantage over individuals who might not be fully grown or educated enough to think critically about the world around them.

That aside, it still leads to creepy advertising and ultimately removing freedom of choice on the part of the individual.

This distinction between Big Ad Tech and everyone else in tech is important to keep in mind as policymakers consider new regulations intended to protect consumers’ privacy. Executives of these big companies may individually make public statements welcoming federal regulation, but in practice they are doing everything they can to weaken existing laws and shape new ones in their own interests. This strategy is very obvious to the rest of us in the tech industry. And it’s essential to get these privacy laws right today, so that people have the opportunity to opt outClose X of online tracking now.

In an Opinion piece on the New York Times, the author suggests the potential implications of blindly submitting to such surveillance. Advertising is totally possible without tracking people across the entire internet. A lot of tech companies are doing it already and fighting against certain influences to create laws that continue to eliminate choice from the market.

The author continues to explain the options companies have for advertising online and the proven effectiveness of alternative options to the ‘behavioral’ advertising which tracks your activity all over the internet.

Ultimately there is even evidence to suggest something like ‘contextual’ advertising can be profitable.

Skylaski VPN will continue to block common trackers and malware publishers for the foreseeable future. If you’re curious how a VPN can help protect your privacy, check out our Features & Plans.