On a deeper level, ‘behavioural targeting’ describes a kind of online advertising that reaches you based on your online activities.
On this blog we’ve always argued that its worth giving up a bit of online privacy if you get a personalised, tailored version of the web. A company called ‘Phorm’ has pioneered this type of advertising, although not without considerable resistance, even on this blog. In fact, such has been the level of friction that they have decided to give the UK a miss for now.
Google also wants to get into behavioural targeting. Their version is called ‘interest based’ advertising, which targets you… based on your interests.
As is so often the case with Google of course, they’ve thought about it all a bit more and have put in place an idea which may quell the fears of privacy groups.
Google have a tool that lets you look at the data and information that Google hold about you and delete it if you wish to. Google are calling this a ‘Dashboard’, and claim it gives you ‘unprecedented’ control over your personal data.
You can get to grips with your Google Dashboard on the settings page in your Google account.
The Dashboard summarises the personal information that Google has collected and stored about you, based on your use of their products.
“It’s important for people to be aware of what data they have online and to be able to manage that data – Google Dashboard should help to make this a reality.” said Alma Whitten, a Google software engineer on privacy and safety.
“We think of this as a great step towards giving people transparency and control over their data, and we hope this helps shape the way the industry thinks about these issues,” Whitten added.
Find out what Google knows about you using the Google dashboard. Any surprises there? Does this lay any privacy fears to rest? Leave us a comment below.