Tuesday, January 2

Reading Minds Online

Whether you know it or not, you probably have a ZEDO cookie in your browser (go ahead and look). Most people do.

ZEDO cookies are relatively harmless, put there by Silicon Valley's largest ad serving company. They track billions of online ads per month and their services are evolving.

Today, ZEDO announced the newest solution is a profile and behavioral tracking system that allows publishers to determine and prioritize up to 1,000 demographic tags and activity tags. In sum, a 25-year-old male snowboarder who earns $45,000 per year and a 35-year-old female lawyer who earns $120,000 a year can be served two completely different automobile campaigns when they are reading articles about cars.

What does that mean? For consumers, it means future Website advertising will become extremely personal. For those in advertising, it means you have another reason to up-sell your clients by producing multiple campaigns based on narrow demographics. And for online privacy advocates, it means marketers gathering too much personal information. For ZEDO, according to Roy de Souza, it means “Our new system is the first of its kind and ensures visitors are served ads they actually want to see. This benefits users, publishers and advertisers."

For the rest, it simply means thinking twice before you lie on a Web publisher survey. Not really. Your profile and behavior will simply be determined by which sections you click through, which may make you think twice before clicking hot topics.

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