BoSacks Speaks Out: IAB, Ad agencies and the Ad intrusion into our children’s lives

By BoSacks

Wed, Jan 25, 2023

BoSacks Speaks Out: IAB, Ad agencies and the Ad intrusion into our children’s lives

First off let me state the obvious and get that out of the way – Apple is a for profit business. They are not philanthropists, and all actions are for their bottom line. All else comes second.

That being said, Apple does seem to have a strong commitment to user privacy. Again, for their own mischievous good, but at least on the surface it does appear to be for helping to protect the consumer. They have implemented a number of features and technologies in their products to help protect user data and keep it private. For example, Apple uses end-to-end encryption for iMessage and FaceTime, which means that only the sender and recipient can see the messages and calls.

Additionally, they have a "Sign in with Apple" feature that allows users to sign into apps and websites without sharing personal information. To me that is fantastic, but it does mean that Apple knows about everything I do, keeping me and my habits in their walled garden.

They have also kicked Facebook’s butt in the process of user privacy. I’m guessing that was no accident, but rather a premeditated digital mugging. Bravo! It couldn’t happen to a more deceptive and gross company.

Overall Apple's privacy initiatives are, in theory, designed to give users more control over their data and to make it harder for third parties to access it without permission.

Rest assured that advertising agencies have strong opinions on privacy. They don’t like it and have forgotten what a truly great advertising campaign is. Let’s face facts, digital advertising is intense, deep corporate, personal surveillance of us as humans, and it starts with our children.

It is difficult to determine a specific number of data points that advertisers have on our children, as it can vary depending on the specific child and the types of data being collected. However, it is known that advertisers can collect a wide range of information on children including their browsing history, search queries, location data, and demographic information.

Additionally, many children use apps and social media platforms that collect data on their usage habits and preferences. This data can be used to target advertising to children and to create profiles of their interests and behavior. There is no moral barometer when it comes to intrusive personal data collection.

This intrusion into our children’s lives should not be tolerated. The advertisers don’t care so long as it helps in their treasure hunt for revenue.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is an industry trade group that represents the digital advertising industry. They are in my opinion a non-functioning joke of an industry association. They say that they have developed guidelines for the collection and use of data for online advertising, which include principles for data privacy and transparency. In general, they say that the IAB advocates for responsible and transparent data collection and use, and for giving consumers control over their data. Except that they have fought tooth and nail to prevent honest digital safeguards. They go out of their way to protect the rights of the digital burglars invading our homes, our children’s and our inner thoughts.

According to IAB, data collection and tracking should be transparent, and consumers should be informed about the data being collected and how it will be used. IAB also recommends that consumers should be able to control what data is collected and how it is used through mechanisms such as opt-in and opt-out choices. Well, here is a clear case of the distance between stated perception and the harsh reality of uncontrolled personal intrusion.

Bob Hoffman wrote in May of 2021, “Ending tracking, ending surveillance, ending spying on the public is not a panacea for all the problems of the digital world. But it is a great place to start. We need to get rid of tracking – not advertising – to help make the web what it ought to be.”

It's better to be a pirate than to join the Navy.

Steve Jobs (1955 - 2011), Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple

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