Right now you are engaged in value creation. Sure you're building your brain power by reading and interacting with SmartPlanet but in a broader sense you are also generating information via the web that may be used by marketers to better target ads to you. Ads that advertisers will pay a premium for.
For instance, let's assume that this morning you visited a car site, then swung by ZDNet and read a little on BNET. An independent ad network that dropped a cookie on your computer a couple of weeks back may be classifying you as an auto intender with an interest in technology. Likely someone in management. That's valuable to the advertiser selling a new car aimed a techies and if the sites you visit after this one are working with that ad network you may be getting ads from that car company.
It's a lot to understand and at the same time the technology that helps target ads is accelerating. That being the case, the FTC is in deep working with the industry and developing guidelines. The industry itself is moving forward on several fronts to educate consumers and help them understand the controls they have available.
Last week, The Interactive Advertising Bureau launched, PrivacyMatters.com. A destination where consumers can learn about:
- Online advertising
- How their privacy is protected
- How to protect themselves
- Understanding and managing cookies
With the support of many of IAB's members, who publish content and sell ads, expect to see ads for this new public service site across the web.