It feels like the world has begun its slow descent into a time where artificial intelligence rules.
And there are no more opportunities to stop the train and get off because even if wanted to, we can’t.
Case in point: Facebook is going to be targeting – read, tracking – non-Facebook users to present advertisements to online.
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It may not seem like a big deal: so what if Facebook is expanding its ad network? That’s to be expected, right? Yawn, next story.
I’m not so sure. In fact, I’m pretty bloody terrified.
It means that Facebook will be displaying specific, targeted ads to web users who are not members of its social network.
To be clear, this is unprecedented territory. It will allow Facebook’s advertising network to install pieces of code known as cookies on your browser, even if you don’t have a Facebook account.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook will also use ‘like’ buttons and other plug-ins embedded on third-party sites to track members and non-members alike.
Am I the only one who is disturbed by this?!
I was disturbed when Facebook began harvesting our data and selling it to credit card companies.
I was disturbed when they announced they would use our data to inform banks about whether or not to lend us money.
And I’m really concerned now, because they’re going to be targeting non-Facebook users to “serve relevant ads to them”.
Translation: even if you choose not to participate in social media, you can’t escape their ever-watchful gaze.
Note that there is one inconvenient way around it; The Verge reports that non-Facebook members can opt-out through the Digital Advertising Alliance in the US, the Digital Advertising Alliance in Canada, and the European Interactive Digital Advertising Alliance in Europe. I assume there must be an option for Aussies as well?
This news has come under criticism from regulators in Europe over privacy concerns, but the general public doesn’t seem to have a reaction.
The end (of privacy) is nigh, and no one seems to have noticed – or they have, and they don’t really care.
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