Personalised ads online?

January 13, 2022
Platform Power

No, thank you.

That’s what people think about surveillance ads.

Global Witness commissioned a research to conduct a survey amongst 2,034 regular social media users (past 30 days) in France and Germany to find out if the biggest argument used by Big Tech to keep prying on our personal data was true. The results show that 83% don’t want the personal data they’ve shared with the social media company to be used for targeted ads.

Big Tech companies argue that surveillance ads are needed for us to get the full experience: get the info we care about, find the shoes we want, and discover new worlds. But we know that is not true. Most often, surveillance ads end up discriminating against us, limiting our choice and opportunities, and harming our mental health.

However the question remained. ‘Do people want personalised ads online?’

The research found out that people don’t even want the personal data that they shared with the social media company to be used for targeted ads (83%) nor their behavioural data tracked outside the platform (78%). In fact, they found that regardless of the purpose, the majority of people don’t want to receive personalised ads online (57%), including commercial or political. Furthermore, in the particular case of political ads, there is also a solid understanding of how using surveillance ads can hinder democracy (44%).

There is much more interesting data you can find in the full report, but if you are leaving this blog with a message, let it be: surveillance ads only benefit Big Tech. People don’t want them.

Big Tech
Platform Power