blog: Don Marti


Look who's defending users from surveillance marketing

09 September 2018

(updated 14 Jan 2019: added two more examples.)

What's the best defense against surveillance marketing? In some cases, another surveillance marketer. Just like hackers lock up a vulnerable system after they break in to protect against other hackers, surveillance marketers who know what they're doing are helping to protect users from other companies' data collection practices.

Amazon: Retailers include different degrees of data in email receipts. Amazon only emails consumers links to their full receipts, limiting the information an email provider can extract. Oath gets to know shoppers through their Yahoo emails | Digital - Ad Age

Google: Google’s recent changes with Ads Data Hub keeps data locked within Google Cloud and cannot be combined outside of Google’s controlled environment. As a result, data lakes for marketing are under threat by recent changes by Google. How does Google’s Ads Data Hub Affect My Analytics? (Part III of the Ads Data Hub Series) - Thunder Experience Cloud

Google again: Google Demanded That T-Mobile, Sprint Not Sell Google Fi Customers' Location Data - Motherboard. (If you want to target Google's users, better pay Google.)

Facebook: Late last week Facebook announced it would eliminate all third-party data brokers from its platform. It framed this announcement as a response to the slow motion train wreck that is the Cambridge Analytica story. Just as it painted Cambridge as a “bad actor” for compromising its users’ data, Facebook has now vilified hundreds of companies who have provided it fuel for its core business model, a model that remains at the center of its current travails. Newco Shift | Facebook: Tear Down This Wall. (And Facebook even runs a Tor hidden service.)

Real surveillance marketers play defense.

But in most cases, publishers don't. And that's Why Local Newspaper Websites Are So Terrible. What happens when news sites can play some defense of their own?

I don't know, but IMHO it will be an improvement for everybody. And the good news is that browser privacy improvements are finally making it possible.

Let's discuss. WORKSHOP: User Data and Privacy — Building market power for trustworthy publishers, Sept. 26, Chicago | Information Trust Exchange Governing Association

The people who get how Facebook works are also the most likely to leave it

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