So, when I am served ads in Google Chrome and other Google products, I understand, why because I’m feeding Google my search information, they don’t sell it –regardless of what you may think; however, at least I am getting something out of it, free software products. The issue here is when I am seeing a random ad in my Twitter or Instagram timeline, it is literally enraging. From sports ads to random apps that “I should” install are what I am presented and every time I click “I do not want to see this”.
Why do we see ads? That is the question. Simple. Companies that we are engaging with need to make money and money is made by ads being served, it helps the developers and companies continue forward and provide us with an app and service that we get to take advantage of — for free.
Does this mean that all companies are out to get you and your information? Yes and no. Most companies that retain your information for their use will formally let you know in the EULA’s (End User License Agreement) but I guarantee that you’ve never read one from end to end. Let’s start with Google for example. Google built their company off of the promise “Don’t be evil” — I won’t explain it here, just look it up. However, more and more that statement is becoming murkier and murkier and users complain that their data is being compromised; yet, let’s look at it a bit deeper, shall we? There are many companies whose names that we do not even know that track our every grocery bill and more; however, when we have an accessible company such as Google, we automatically assume that their are harboring data and selling it to everyone. I will tell you, yes you, that you are wrong. Google serves you ads and recommendations only off of information that you provide and only that way are they able to provide useful information and products in return. Let’s make the comparison here, the toolbar that you installed on Firefox or Internet Explorer will gather information and shoot it to a company you don’t know. Google on the other hand records your searches, reads your emails (which all email clients do, trust me) in order to provide you with useful services for free. Google Now, one fantastic service would be rendered useless if Google didn’t have that information. That boarding pass that has flight information, you’d never be notified when you got near the airport. That meeting that is scheduled for tomorrow, you’d forget about it if it wasn’t added already to your calendar. That ad for soap you saw that links you to Amazon, wouldn’t be fueled if you hadn’t searched for it.
Bottom line: Don’t be afraid until you know. You should want to know.