Read an interesting article about how McCain and Obama are using behavioral targeting within their overall online strategy. Too bad Heather Green at BusinessWeek is more interested in spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) than factual information. How are these for sensationalistic (and unsubstantiated) claims -- all within the first 30 words!
- "The candidates are monitoring your mouse"
- "... capturing personal data to target voters"
- "Obama and McCain are tracking voters' interests on the Web"
Reading the article, I could see no evidence provided to support any of these claims. All they appear to be doing is basic retargeting tactics, which are the least sophisticated and invasive of all behavioral targeting tactics. Retargeting means that if you go to a certain site on their page, they drop a cookie so they can recognize and (re)target you on other pages -- not ANY page you go to, just any page that asked the behavioral targeting vendor/network for an ad.
It's this sort of misinformation that is giving behavioral targeting a bad rap. I believe that Web users still have more privacy online than offline.