Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Facebook and Tracking Advertising: Is This an Issue?

Everyday millions of people use the Internet to check e-mails, Facebook accounts and much more. Many of the ads that appear on the pages that we go to seem to relate to interest that we have previously searched and many of them seem to be relevant to our interests. Lots of times Facebook ads will appear on a person’s wall because of certain statements or pages that person has previously “liked”. Is it wrong for companies to track this sort of information?

Although some may disagree that this type of advertising is wrong, I believe that it is fair game as long as these companies do not get too much of your personal information. These companies are tracking our information so that they can make money off our (the public) interests. They can get feedback from us by certain messages or comments we leave to them so they can help improve their businesses and give what the people demand. I think that it is a good thing because it helps businesses keep up to date with the ever changing world around them.

As a matter of fact, many companies actually use these social websites such as Facebook to promote their businesses. They can track how many people search their business, or related topics and how many people view their profile. I think it is actually a good idea because it gives these companies a relative idea of how much demand is in need for their service. They can then base their pricing and other business information off these statistics.
I don’t think that it is an “invasion of privacy”, but more as a means of marketing. Many companies will see what the public is interested in and expand their ideas that will benefit us. It also helps us find things we are interested in, and information about those subjects easier to find because they have already linked ads to our pages that relate to it. We have a choice to what we put on the Internet, and if it is meant to be private, many people will not put it on.

This link is a Wall Street Journal article on Facebook and online privacy. It talks about the use of companies and their ways of getting our information and how they are using it with advertising and in other ways. It also relates to the assigned readings and helps support and may even challenge some of the topics and questions that were asked throughout the text.

In conclusion, I do not agree with the statement that it is an invasion of privacy. It does not seem like it is becoming a “Big Brother” type of situation. These companies are not using your information against you, but only to help benefit you, but there is a fine line between invasion of privacy and tracking your information.

Does tracking advertising oppose threat to personal information or identity theft? Is there any way to help prevent these things from happening, while still receiving the benefits from their tracking? How do we know that this type of advertising will not turn into "Big Brother" in the future?


  1. An interesting post about the trade-offs between tracking and getting useful information as users about products we're interested in. I'm not sure I totally see the connection with the WSJ article on Facebook's privacy breach, though; isn't that an example of a way that one site's sharing information with another creates a privacy hole? In this case, personal, identifying information was shared with companies outside Facebook, not just anonymous user activity data. It's a great and useful link; I'm just not sure how it fits into your argument here.

  2. Thank you for finding my article interesting. The link I found was an article that I thought had interesting and contrasting points to my article. I figured anyone who would read my article would find this link useful in its contents.