Google is planning to introduce an advertising method in which they will deliver tailored ads based on each user’s interests, taking into consideration their website browsing history. The aim of behavioural targeting is to make online advertising more relevant and useful to users, building a connection between the users and advertisments.
These ads will associate categories of interest – say sports, gardening, cars, pets – with your browser, based on the types of sites you visit and the pages you view. We may then use those interest categories to show you more relevant text and display ads. – Quoted from Google’s blog
However, the major downfall to this project is the privacy concerns of users. As Marc Rotenberg from Electronic Privacy Information Center said in an interview, Google will be aggregating too much information and data.
“It’s a disaster… Google long maintained it would not do this type of advertising. Indeed, they claimed they didn’t need to, and they went after others who did.”
Google came back and defended itself emphasizing that users are able to opt out of the system and alter its advertising categories that are more interesting to the user. This can be done through the use of a new tool known as the ‘Ad Preferences Manager’. The Australian version will be out later in 2009.