Ad networks and other participants in the advertising ecosystem are increasingly utilizing behavioral targeting to assemble audiences with particular characteristics. Now technology can provide the capacity for segmenting the target market and ideal customers with further specificity because of behaviors. One of the best examples of behavior targeting through market segmentation is Facebook. The ads along side of the continuous feed are specific to the Facebook user based upon his or her likes and other factors. Companies use those infamous “cookies” to track the Internet behavior of the web surfers and this information is then sent back to the advertising company.
Is it an invasion of privacy?
As long as the cookies are not gathering user-identifiable information, such as names, locations, or other personal information, privacy is ensured. Users do have the ability to reject cookies or delete existing cookies, however, the key is to educate users.
Advertiser and users both are benefited by behavioral targeting. Advertisers get a way to target ads based on viewers interest and users get benefit of seeing ads that are highly relevant to there interests.
Websites and the advertising industry as a whole needs to be as transparent as possible and focused on user education.