Happy #buyNothingDay, and a goal for 2020
29 November 2019
To be honest, though, I buy stuff the other 365 days of the year (2020 is scheduled to be a leap year) so I still get and pay attention to advertising.
In 2020, I'm going to see what I can do to get better ads. It seems like this is a good year to do it. Let's review. There are three ways to get an ad in front of me.
Context: pay for something I want to read
Search: deliver the ads with search results when I search for something
Personalization: place the ad based on who I am
I'm fine with the first two. Context-based advertising pays for news and cultural works.
Search advertising pays for services I use, like web search and mobile maps.
The third one, though, is a problem. The first two are positive-sum games between me and the advertiser, and have positive externalities. Personalization is a negative-sum game, and has negative externalities.
What if I treat every personalized ad I receive as a bug, and report it?
In 2020, thanks to the California Consumer Privacy Act, I should be able to opt out of the use of my personal information for ad targeting. In the long run, when advertisers figure out that I'm impossible to reach with personalization, they'll pay more for the news, cultural works, and services I want, and spend less money storing my information where it exposes me to risks like fraud and identity theft.
Here's my CCPA letter. Work in progress: California Consumer Privacy Act letter
Comments and suggestions welcome. Anyway, long weekend, longer bonus links section.
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