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Big Data is a huge money making business, and a big example of this is AOL. No longer an ISP, AOL is now a data broker. The collected data has value because of how it’s used in online advertising, specifically targeted advertising: when a company sends an ad your way based on information about you, such as your location, age, and race. Targeted ads, the thinking goes, are not only more likely to result in a sale (or at least a click), they’re also supposed to be more relevant to consumers. While some people might want better ads that are more relevant to them, the article makes a good point: “I have targeted ads that are more attuned to my desires and my wants… But if you have someone who has an alcohol abuse problem getting a liquor store ad…” And I’m cynical enough to believe that the average advertiser wouldn’t care about that in the slightest.