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How Much Do Targeted Online Ads Know About You?

How Much Do Targeted Online Ads Know About You?

(creepy music) – [Voiceover] From UFOs to psychic powers and government conspiracies, history is riddled with
unexplained events. You can turn back now, or learn the stuff they
don’t want you to know. Here are the facts. As of 2016, approximately 40% of the world has an internet connection. As more than 3 billion
people across the globe visit websites, social media
platforms, forums, and more, their movements are tracked
by numerous advertisers, intelligence agencies, website
owners, and other groups. Perhaps you’ve recently searched
for a product or service, only to later find ads for similar things on every webpage you visit. Perhaps you’ve already done
your best to rid your computer of cookies, the text
files that allow these organizations to track you. Perhaps you’re using an incognito browser and ad blocker extensions. Do these methods work? Here’s where it gets crazy. Not as well as you might think. Targeted online advertising
is a huge industry leveraging big data to point ads toward individual internet users
with more and more precision. This is not inherently bad, but it is not particularly
well understood in the public sphere, and that’s
the way some entities would like to keep it. The data you’re giving each
entity you visit or app you download can be sold to
anyone without your consent. After all, how many people read the terms of service agreements? Within these labyrinthine documents, users agree to do things
like give up rights to their photographs, allow
their activities to be tracked and sold to other companies,
or given to law enforcement, and one of the primary goals
of this massive data harvesting is to manipulate you
into buying more things. To many, this doesn’t sound
particularly nefarious. Sure, the argument goes you
might see an advertisement, but no one’s forcing
you to spend any money. Yet there’s a deeper
root hole to this story. A study co-authored by
Professor Rebecca Reczek at Ohio State University’s
Fisher College of Business found that these targeted
advertisements do more than show you the next gadget
you might think of buying. These ads can actually change
the way you perceive yourself. In one example, Professor
Reczek analyzed ads for environmentally
friendly, or green products, finding that the power of a
behaviorally targeted ad for a green product isn’t just
that it persuades you to buy the advertised product. It actually makes you feel
more environmentally conscious and can change your behavior. This paves the way for a
dangerous feedback loop. Companies take data about the user, and target ads toward that
person, the user sees the ads, slowly having his or her
self perception altered, the user’s web patterns
change, which prompts even more focused ads, and the process continues. As explored in our earlier
episodes on big data, companies and government are
notoriously secretive about exactly what information they’re gathering and what they’re doing with it. Should this practice continue
without the knowledge of users, even when there’s
evidence that targeted ads can affect their audience
in unintended ways? For now, the practice
continues unabated and efforts to shed light on the
process have proven only this, there’s something these
companies don’t want you to know. Learn more about targeted
online advertising in our latest audio podcast available at

100 thoughts on “How Much Do Targeted Online Ads Know About You?

  1. Listen and have your eyes open this stuff isn't even hidden. Scams, percs, terms and etc are so obvious lol. No i don't know or catch everything but a lot is blamed on your average person blindness or ignorance. The thing that suck about terms they don't really give you a option in many cases. So if you don't like it, then you can't buy or sign up.

  2. i think targeted ads are great. Just think of it, when you have to choose, do you realy want to waste your time watching ads you hate and you dont are interested? or do you choose ads that have the potential to inform you about things you might like or are useful to your life situation? The only problem comes in with uncontious people who are like sheep and by every crap (also a lot of buying addicted). But these people buy also crap with normal ads. But one bad thing for sure is the stealing of fotographic right on "social" media sites or apps. This is a true theft.

  3. I've said it before and I'll say it again, for many the internet becomes an echo chamber, where preconceived notions are bolstered by others. No matter how crazy or backwards of an idea you have, you can always find others who agree with you on the internet. Ironically enough for those with a higher intellect it is even easier to fall into this trap(supported by studies, I can probably re-find for those curious) because they are able to find evidence in support of their claim. Example, global warming, without getting into a debate on the topic, both sides can be argued and some data can be found in support of both positions. I semi-recently changed my position on the issue after realizing I had fallen into an echo chamber(hell I might still have a google doc full of sources from that) and being exposed to more evidence in opposition to my preconceived notion, though I now find it absurd I ever believed the other side of the argument.

  4. Even worse, I was having a personal conversation with a family member through private message and the topic came up for advertising!!

  5. I was concerned about this so I asked Dorito Pope and he told me there was nothing behind this. I feel much ….crunch crunch …. bebber now. Mmmmm….Cheesy….

  6. What about those websites that ask you to disable adblock on the admin and if you don't you can't access the website? They are practically forcing to watch advertises. And as I've noticed, it kinda spreads to other websites, more and more websites are adapting the "disable the adblock now or you'll see this message forever". What if soon you won't be able to block the ads at all? There's gotta be some other way to fight this thing.

  7. So. When are you going to do a STDWYTK on the Super Secret Overlapping Environment & those creeps always doing things on that side of the threshold? Why don't you do a vid about that sort of thing… you have done vids on everything else, why not THAT?

  8. So I like something, and they suggest something I might like too? Sorry guys. I think there's bigger threats in the world.

  9. this isnt a conspiracy, call up your friend and say he word "cancer" 20 times, he. log into Facebook and see what targeted advertising pops up. I was diagnosed with a certain disease of my liver, he next day when I went on Facebook and Gmail, I had ads for the unaffordable medication big pharma sells to treat my disease in my inbox, a day after I was diagnosed. it's just a conspiracy though.

  10. I pay $77.00 to surf the net. I WILL NOT SEE ANY CRAPPY, $ HITTY, FU ( KED ADDS. THEY CAN KISS BOTH SIDES OF MY A $$!

  11. …… did I only just realize that the house says 1984…. What are you talking about? I pay attention to the intro…

  12. If the government knows that you were spreading conspiracies then why didn't they take you down?

  13. Could you guys cover the Nazi 911 connection – I was listening to a vid on it on coast to coast this week – it is fascinating. – it goes like this – that there are two 911 conspiracies – there is the first level one, where 911 was "let to happen" – but then there was a tier 3 set of "shadow" actors – where they knew 911 was going to be "let to happen" -so then they came in and took down the buildings and took advantage -there is a Nazi connection between the put options put on stocks, etc., and the information that was destroyed in the buildings – Anyway, just thought I would throw the idea out there. Have been researching it myself, but it is a bit overwhelming and complex. Maybe too much for me at the moment.

  14. If advertisers really knew anything about me then they'd know everytime I see their ad, I hate them an their products more an more.

  15. On the same level of crazy, three things.

    I signed up for funimation, now I see ads for their shows on different sites and in apps I use.

    I make designs on redbubble, now I see my own designs advertised on other websites I visit, advertising redbubble.

    Same with Ebay and Amazon.

    Now, on YouTube, I've recently switched from watching "liberal" videos to more "conservative" videos. The recommended I would suppose show you videos that you like to watch based on previous viewing history. I just didn't know it would be such a dramatic shift.

    Same with facebook as we've all heard in the media.

    We like the idea of recommended post and sponsored ads, but really they are too good. It's as South Park put it, the ads are learning.

  16. that sad part about this is when you go dark from all social media accounts and receive the stigma of being this "outcast" for not having one. Employers will look at your funny if you say that you don't have a facebook account.

    Also, I suggest on looking up the mystery behind the Virgin of Guadalupe. There is something the Roman Catholic Church doesn't want the people know about this "Miracle"

  17. I started filming a media project at my school and when I come home and used my pc and spi started seeing full ads of cameras and media stuff like WTF

  18. Fr example when u look at a picture of a dress, they'll knw ur personality just frm that, also frm th makeup high or low quality, looking at exercising machines, any kinds of apps abt how to eat healthy, look better, just frm that they'll knw our flaws nd strong points, they'll save billions on targeting individuals just frm th Internet, they're already using it, pictures of a jaw missing teeth pup up on my screen, pictures of belly fat, an apple with a hole in it, heads of ppl cut off to terrorize me. this will be th next "covert" phase after they get exposed nd laws r being changed. th whole matrix has to be banished cus they're always ahead in th game. I bet u if we don't stop this madness now their will be executive orders to jail ppl living of th grid cus they can't be controlled, robotized with chips nd cell towers.

  19. It's called re-targeting ads. There are lots of eCommerce advertising tools out there. Companies want to know who their demographic is and Google Analytics and other similar tools make it possible for them to know.

  20. I find targeted ad strategies and algorithms pretty innaccurate anyway, most of the time I ignore or if it gets really bad, I actually stop using the sites/apps they're on. Facebook is a perfect example

  21. I use ad blocker. ABP is the best add on there is and has ever been and will ever be. Everyone should have it. And why not? its free….

  22. If you want free services well you have to live with targeted adds. How else do you expect youtube, facebook, google and all the rest to be free? The money for all those servers and staff needs to come from somewhere.

  23. The worst is when you look at a site that happens to sell somethings oh don't even want and then log onto to Facebook later to only see adds everywhere for that damn product you didn't even want…..

  24. oh no please don't try to sell me stuff I can't afford. ads have little to no influence. they're just obnoxious when you're trying to get around on the internet.

  25. hi stuff. do you have also any idea why the sound of my laptop changes from low to high pitch especially when i am listening or watching to channels like yours? this is the first time happened to this laptop since the internet changed my windows from version 7 to 10 without my approval deleting all my previous files and vids. thanks

  26. AS a retail and Hospitality worker, we were trained and many still are trained to make a profit. And this is only a small part of profitability

  27. So I work in the advertisement industry, and I've seen that the buying and selling of information is a huge part of revenue for a lot of companies, but personally I don't find there to be anything overtly nefarious, or something that companies "don't want you to know" its just that the tracking and acquisition of said information is just so complicated that it would lose most people not already plugged into the process. Just keep in mind anytime you enter your information somewhere whether it be to apply for a job or register as a user at some site they likely can and will sell your information. Pro tip however, if you find yourself being spammed to death via email companies are legally obligated to provide an unsubscribe option in said email. Just some food for thought from someone who's semi familiar with the acquisition and sale of personal information.

  28. This makes me giggle at how ominous it sounds. The truth is if companies can target you with information you are more interested in it makes your online experience better. Without advertising you would not know when new products, services, and entertainment (like movies) are available that fit your lifestyle. Targeted advertising lets a company show you what you already are interested in. Simple as that.

  29. Install -Lightbeam addon to your browser and see all the websites and companies linked in to your websearch or online browsing. (beware it can impact PC performance if showing massive results)

  30. Have you guys done a video on the Gulf of Tonkin false flag incident, or the First Gulf War false flag senate hearings?

  31. This is why I use NoScript at home. Since all the websites use scripts to run, I use NoScript to keep them from loading when I click on a webpage and then temporarily allow the minimum needed scripts to view the webpage. Since I can't use it at work, I just use the ad tracking to do stuff for me, like when I want to see Green Lantern stuff, I just go look it up on Amazon.com and then the Green Lantern symbol is literally everywhere, on every page I visit.

  32. Or you can be using Windows 10 and have no mystery at all about where the intrusive behavior is coming from. 😉

  33. Love this channel. Please expose the Ad Council for the liberal agenda driving pricks that they are. How is it the government can strong arm television networks into showing one left-wing commercial after another, even the only conservative news network in the country, FNC?

  34. What is bs. Facebook posts ads in your feed based on face to face conversation. I said the word "John Deer" then I noticed John Deer sponsor ads on my feed. I said the word "High Point"…then I started to see High Point financial ads on my feed. My brother said it was BS…so I told him to say something random. He said "Metal Detectors"…the next morning he had a Metal Detector sponsor ad on his feed.

    Its bullshit that Facebook uses your microphone without your consent or knowledge.

  35. podcasts what are those ? arent those for senior citizens ? oh wait…. its for people that cant think of other alternatives than apple stuff……. yeah thats it…… stupid people…..

  36. Just yesterday I was asking my uncle if he had seen any ads for the new Purge movie. He said he hadn't. My phone was a few feet from me and for the rest of the night, every youtube video I opened started with a Purge ad. I knew my phone was listening in on my conversations.

  37. Do they know enough to know that I don't pay attention to ads…like at all? The only time product placement worked on me was when American Dad mentioned Chocodiles, and it ruined my life.

  38. I feel like this channel has really fell off the last year I unsubscribed like 3 months ago and I see things still suck so ✌

  39. I feel like this channel has really fell off the last year I unsubscribed like 3 months ago and I see things still suck so ✌

  40. According to ads on youtube/google I am spanish-speaking, Latina, pregnant, but at the same time have my period. It's pretty perplexing!

  41. The internet is used to control us and using ads to study us.Soon they will put us into a world of our own and split us into certain groups and get us on certain tracks of thinking and viewing things.It's a form of mind control.

  42. I once was talking with a coworker about wanting to get Rosetta Stone and about a week later I was seeing ads for it online. Never once did i search it online, only spoke about it. I've been sketched out about it ever since. We're not safe anywhere now.

  43. i find you tube more interesting when not signed in, in fact it gets quite old being directed on what to watch.

  44. They know nothing about me, they give me ads for cereal but I am severely lactose intolerant. And give me ads for cars, when I could care less if my car has a kicking bass.

  45. we need some kind of opt-out system. so we can tell these ppl there is a certain kind of add we don't wanna see!
    I googled something to do with cancer when my mother died from it and then had to suffer seeing adverts to do with cancer every time I went on google for the next 6 months until I switched search engine. (went to DuckDuckgo)

    and what about all those gambling adverts?.
    they must make life very hard for ppl who are trying to recover from a gambling addiction.

    NB with recent news on internet snooping I am gonna switch to TOR browser for all my net usage!

  46. I have heard several stories where people are talking about buying stuff over the phone with a spouse or friend only to find ads on the same sort of products on the computer soon thereafter. Anyone here want to chime in? Know it is an old vid but still

  47. I don't get targeted ads. I don't even get ads. Adblocker, poper blocker, ghostery, click&clean, and YTR (youtube refined) protect me. I recommend everyone gets some sort of Antivirus. I have an antivirus. I search with DuckDuckGo. But my OS is windows 10, so I might still get tracked. Planning on switching to some sort of linux distro. About to unplug my microphone that I plug in for recording audio with audacity. Goodbye, cortana.

  48. Maybe there's selling the information we get to artificial intelligence producers. Or cloning facilities.

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