Micro-Targeting: Privacy In The Digital Age

1299 Words 6 Pages
As the nation moves farther and farther into the technological age, privacy is becoming a thing of the past, and building an online profile for the world to see is the present and is shaping the future. What many people still do not realize is that there is nothing private on the internet. Once something is posted or searched online the record of that never goes away. This is how the internet has always been, but until recently no one took advantage of this information. In recent years advertisers and big businesses have begun to take full advantage of the opportunities that they are being given from every single person who uses the web. Advertisers have begun to target consumers based off of what the consumers seek out on the internet. Every …show more content…
Privacy is a feeling that people have when they possess control over their over their social situation and enough agency to assert control. Many people feel that they have control over the footprint that they leave on the internet, but the reality is that they do not. Everything consumers participate in on the internet can be tracked and used by those who have a message or product they are trying to sell. In the context of political campaigns, politicians are trying to sell specialized messages to an intended demographic of Americans in order to acquire votes. They contemporary way of doing this is by micro-targeting. “Micro-targeting works by taking whatever individual-level information is available (e.g., IDs, contributor information, vote history) and combining it with demographic, geographic and marketing data about those individuals to build statistical models that predict the attitudes and behaviors of voters for whom that individual-level information is not known.” (Strasma) In an age where everyone has caller I.D, campaign consultant groups are having to become more creative. In order to reach potential voters they are having to dig deeper than just geographic and demographic data. By looking at voter history, cookies, geographic, and demographic data consultant groups are able to reach potential voters on an individual level. It …show more content…
Even if you have privacy settings set up for social media sites, there are still ways for politicians to get information about you. “Currently there are more than 110,000 political Facebook pages in the United States and more than 11,000 U.S.-based pages for politicians, according to a Facebook spokesman. While Facebook doesn't hand over personally identifiable information, it does allow advertisers to seek out subsections of the population based on their preferences on Facebook.” (Brennan) Even though the information is anonymous, social media cites are still aiding in the micro-targeting process. It is also important to be aware of what information you put about yourself on the internet if you are concerned about your privacy. There is currently no way to stop the micro-targeting, but there are ways to make sure that not all aspects of your life are on display for whoever needs to sell something. Until government regulations limit the information that consultant groups can acquire on people the best thing to do is be conscious of how you are building your online profile. In the 7th edition of Media Literacy by Potter some steps that will help you protect yourself are being aware of the information about you that is available online, and correcting any inaccuracies that you find online. Another idea that this book introduces is that advertising can be

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