What do you do when a former employee of Google starts her own company with a service that will target advertising to you directly across multiple devices? My first response is “Where is my privacy and who gets to decide what companies get to follow me around?” Though this new venture is promising complete privacy and protection from outsiders, in a day when any good hacker can attack any site, anywhere, anytime they wish, these promises sound hollow to me.
As we consumers switch from the traditional desktop or laptop to tablets and smartphones, it has become evident that we are no longer dependent on a single device to surf the Internet. During the course of the day, both consumers and business users span several different devices to maintain some type of Internet connection. For digital content providers, its ability to concentrate advertising to a user has been compromised.
In steps a company known as Drawbridge so help solve the problem. Drawbridge was founded in 2010 and is using a statistical method to collect anonymous data to track people as they move between smartphones, PCs, and tablet computers. By matching devices to specific users, targeted advertising can be used to track a user, no matter which device they choose to use.
What has become apparent to some is that traditional advertising has been slow to adapt to the speed at which people have migrated to mobile, on-the-go computing. We are no longer limited to a computer affixed to a desk at home or work and have the ability to connect to the Internet from just about anywhere. Yet less than 1% of advertising dollars were actually targeted to mobile computing and the devices we use.
Advertisers for the most part are skeptical about how effective mobile ads are, something that is plaguing just about every Web company that makes a buck selling advertising. Some even believe that targeted technology has not evolved quickly enough. This is where companies such as Drawbridge want to fill a void when it comes to those of us who surf via a smartphone or tablet.
So there you have it. An advanced tracking system designed to follow us around as we surf appears to be just around the corner. Is this something that will help us as consumers or is this another attack on our privacy? You decide. Share your thoughts with us.
Comments, as always, are welcome.
CC licensed Flickr photo above shared by janwillemsen