Google has my full search history, all my hangout chats, all my e-mails, and yet:
* On my Android, it keeps proposing ultra boring "stories to read" about soccer, wannabe celebrities and YouTube videos of stupid teenagers doing stupid things;
* With the sole exception of when the sponsored link is exactly the same as the first result, ad words in my search results have never ever been relevant or interesting in any way.
Facebook is supposed to know everything I like, yet it only shows me ads about stuff I dislike.
The same for Twitter and everything else.
They are supposed to know the inside of my heart and mind, but they have, till now, utterly failed to prove it.
So, do they know me and just pretend they don't for some strange reason, or do they actually know shit and just pretend they do so that they can sell to advertisers at a higher price?
Another classic is the repeated ads for the dish washer I just bought, for months at a time. There are glimpses of potential with targeted search results. It can be practical, for example when I search for open source software named after a common word. So the technology is there, but isn't remotely used to its potential.
My only guess is that there is only so many advertisements available in the pipeline at any given moment. It's the 90/10 rule all over again.
So close, yet so far...
So in a sense, targeted ads are only worth it for the ad seller who can try to squeeze even higher prices from the ad buyer.
Nearly a year later, I am still seeing ads for that dealership as well as competing dealerships in my area.
And this is the second reason I use an ad-blocker everywhere.
The first reason is that I can't stand being always tracked.
After reading one of those occasional "Turn off Google's privacy invasion in three small steps" posts perhaps...
I suspect it boils down to what the ad customers are willing to buy and what they're willing to buy isn't very creative. They buy "people who liked a gay dude's posts" not "People who Facebook knows are super gay and into flashy underwear".
The lawyers wrote the privacy policies that way because the companies intend to do other stuff with the data, or even that worst case scenario people think about, not just because "lawyers gonna lawyer". You don't think Google or Microsoft's general counsels know exactly what their CEOs/companies intends to do with that data 2-3 years down the road? Of course they do. They are usually part of all the long-term strategy planning.
So next time you see something like this, how about you stop giving these companies the "benefit of the doubt" (especially with their poor track record on this) and actually do assume the worst will happen, until they modify their privacy policies to specifically say what they're going to do or aren't going to do with your data.
And people still wonder why the EU could possibly want to investigate Google. Surely it's just American supremacy jealousy? I hope the EU brings everything it's got to Google, and brings the hammer down hard on them. The U.S. Justice Department seems to be completely unwilling to punish big corporations/elites anymore anyway (usually a big flashing sign for oligarchy).