J201 Sec. 310
Online Assignment 4-5
When beginning this assignment, I expected it to be like the VALS assessment of me where they got all of the key information wrong. I was honestly shocked to see how close they were to what I believe are my interests. I will say however that Google was much more exact. They had narrowed it down to twenty-eight slightly broad subjects that they gathered I was interested in based on my searches. Almost all of them I agreed with aside from a few subjects that were clearly more related to me having to Google how to fix my electronics. Facebook seemed to be all over the place with the things they kept track of in terms of my interest. They seemed to have a million different key words to use when assigning ads to my account; some of them were related to things I actually was interested, but the rest were just segments of things that could only be related to something as insignificant as a post that I liked once three years ago. The vast amount of information that these two companies have about me is sickening, yet not surprising. In the digital society, I spend most of my time between these two websites. Google is my go to when I need to know or find anything and everything and Facebook is where I interact with my friends and family. These two cites should have all this information on me simply because I spent years developing these portfolios myself. The problem I face with it is the fact that this information that is supposed to be private is shared with advertisers. I look at it as the same as a doctor selling your personal medical records with pharmaceutical companies so they can sell us medication. It’s morally wrong in my opinion because Google and Facebook have developed into such a private industry when you look at how they are used; yet none of the information is private anymore now that it is being sold to the highest bidder. This new information actually is making me think that I need to be more careful about what I put out into the World Wide Web. While I don’t believe I have ever been fooled into buying anything from one of these advertisements, an article from the New York Times that was one of required reading states that 97% of internet users interact with just one of these online ad companies in any given month (Singer, 2012). That astonishes me and makes me think that while I do not feel that I am giving out any information that could be dangerous in the wrong hands, I feel as if I should tone it down and play it safe after this exploration.
Singer, N. (2012, November 17). Your Online Attention, Bought in an Instant. Your Online Attention Bought in an Instant by Advertisers. Retrieved December 10, 2013, from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/technology/your-online-attention-bought-in-an-instant-by-advertisers.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0