August 27, 2012

Your reaction? The mining of your personal data

by with 7 comments

Last Monday, CEO Ethan Oberman spoke with Bloomberg West’s Jon Erlichman about companies like Facebook and Google “Mining Our Personal Data For Profit.” (If you missed it, check it out here.)

We want to hear from you.

  • Have you ever seen ads targeted at you based on a search you’ve performed on Google? Helpful or harmful?
  • Based on personal information you’ve given a company, have you been Targeted? Remember this story in the New York Times earlier this year? “How Companies Learn Your Secrets”.

Leave us a comment below and tell us your story.

And if you missed any of our media sweeps this month, check them out here:

SpiderOak in Media

  1. I use Ghostery, adblock and better popup blocker, so I never get a whiff of advertising as I surf the net. This angers some people – I am robbing them of ad revenue – but I would never click on an ad anyway. I don't have the money to spare in these recession hit times.

  2. I use a mix of Privoxy (wth rules from AdBlock's EasyList and the Antisocial list), and RequestPolicy. It blocks all third-party content by default, so I never get tracked. It's worked out pretty well so far.

    And yes, this does mean less ad revenue for sites, and as a site owner myself I can understand that. However, I am also one of those who would never click on an ad (anyway except by accident), and would never purchase anything from it, so if I displayed ads then I guess I would contribute to the problem of the web ad industry's dwindling CPM and all that.

  3. I remember one time I was looking at ThinkPads on Lenovo's site. I hadn't even done a Google search, but after that, nearly every Google Ad box was showing me ads for ThinkPads. So clearly, there was some kind of data sharing between Lenovo and Google. After clearing cookies, it went away.

  4. Have you ever seen ads targeted at you based on a search you've performed on Google? Helpful or harmful?
    => I almost don't use Big Brother Google: I first try Duckduckgo, and only when the results aren't satisfying I then give a shot at Google. Also, like Hannibal I use Ghostery and such, so I think the only contacts I have with Google servers are with ReCAPTCHA and some personal sites/blogs/repositories hosted by Google.

    Based on personal information you've given a company, have you been Targeted?
    => Based on information I volunteered, a bit by Facebook I guess. Based on information that was collected by force (you can't really prevent them from tracking your credit card, fidelity cards or temporary baskets if shopping online), a lot I suppose. But that hasn't been too invasive yet, except for one or two online stores which kept begging "finish that purchase", "maybe try that instead", etc.

  5. I'm just realizing that I forgot to mention: it would be much appreciated if the SpiderOak University videos were uploaded to some alternative service such as Dailymotion instead of Google-Youtube.

  6. *with the {less-than-sign + video + more-than-sign}. This comment system seems to strip tags instead of escaping them.