Online tracking has become one of the most common and useful practices in the digital advertising industry, but sometimes it does not benefit the consumer. Companies use tracking tools to collect data on consumer behaviour and preferences, which is then used to target users with personalized ads.
Another form of online tracking is through the use of pixels, which are small images that are embedded in emails or website pages. When a consumer opens an email or visits a website that contains a pixel, their device sends a request to the advertiser’s server. This request contains information about the consumer’s device and browsing history, which can be used to create targeted ads.
Some consumers may have privacy concerns about online tracking. However, it’s important to note that online tracking and targeted advertising can also have benefits for consumers. For example, targeted ads can save consumers time by showing them products and services that they are more likely to be interested in. Additionally, targeted ads can help to improve the overall advertising experience by reducing the number of irrelevant ads that consumers are exposed to.
This overall debate has sparked almost a mini war between advertising platforms and major data protection authorities. In 2022 meta was fined over 200 million euros for how they handle and track data, the fine is only a small amount though for Meta’s deep pockets. However, it seems that we are seeing more and more of Mr Zuckerberg’s company being fined for controversial use of data.
It should be up to the consumer whether they should be subject to tracking for advertising, however if you accept tracking it means you have to trust that your data will not be mishandled. Mishandling data is more prevalent in areas where there is no GDPR, such as the United States.
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