Only the suckers will fail to protect themselves.
Why Nico Sell, CEO of Wickr, Demands Privacy and Resists Social-Media Business |

Let’s Start With Facebook’s Better Ads

Facebook tells us today that they are:

Making Ads Better and Giving People More Control Over the Ads They See
Facebook Newsroom

No matter what color of paint you use to put this on a sign, it’s some kind of skulduggery going on.

Today, we learn about your interests primarily from the things you do on Facebook, such as Pages you like. Starting soon in the US, we will also include information from some of the websites and apps you use.

So basically, Facebook wants to deliver “relevant” ads based upon, not just our Likes and Facebook activity, but our browsing habits outside of Facebook too.

Oh yeah – because, “many companies already do this.”

But wait, it gets better.

There are options to “opt-out” – Riggghhhtttt.

I put “opt-out” in quotes because the method Facebook plans to use in providing control to users is well, to put it mildly, equivalent to peeing on a flower and calling it rain.

Good ’ol Facebook tells us, “You can opt out of this type of ad targeting in your web browser using the industry-standard Digital Advertising Alliance opt out.”

They even provide us with a link for this “opt-out” option at: Opt Out From Online Behavioral Advertising By Participating Companies (BETA)

Ad Opt Out Requires Cookies

The above image image is what displayed when I visited that link. Isn’t this royal? The “better control” option requires that a browser accepts first and third party cookies.

So if we clear our cache and cookies because we are tired of all this tracking (let’s not even talk about device fingerprinting) the opt-out preferences are lost too.

Now here’s the punch line that I discovered when trying to find out a little more about these opt-out cookies.

Does opting out stop participating companies from collecting any data?

No. Opting out tells the participating companies to stop delivering interest-based advertisements to that browser. Other types of advertisements – including those based on general location or registration data – will continue to be delivered to the browser.

After you opt out, participating companies and the Web sites you visit may continue to collect and use information for purposes other than online behavioral advertising.

So, have you stopped laughing yet?

Wait there’s more. This Is Better Control?

Probably for Facebook.

That’s why we’re introducing ad preferences, a new tool accessible from every ad on Facebook that explains why you’re seeing a specific ad and lets you add and remove interests that we use to show you ads.

How much rain does a flower need? And who buys that it’s just rain water?

Does anyone believe that Facebook isn’t painting a better picture of us by our simply using this option? Does anyone believe that this data in fact won’t be used for greater monetization?

Not being interested in flower umbrella ads means that Facebook will just have one more data point to sell somehow in some form.

Resistance Is Here

So as companies continue to water flowers and tell us it’s all good, users are starting to demand greater control and ownership of their data.

This is a shindig of an article that I found this week: Why Nico Sell, CEO of Wickr, Demands Privacy and Resists Social-Media Business |

Read it – it’s good.

We all assumed our data was private, and now we’re realizing that it’s not, and we’re doing something about it–as a culture, as a society. I’m seeing this all over the place. The pendulum is swinging. If people demand better privacy controls, then the natural outcome is that they’re going to want more control of their data, and eventually they’ll realize their data has value.
Brian Blau, Gartner Group’s research director covering social networks

Others are seeing the shift too.

People really are starting to be more aware of who is paying attention, who owns their data
Natalie Riley, Ansa

And yes …

I think that Google and Facebook, in another 30 years when we look back, will be the robber barons of our time.
Nico Sell, Wickr

As the article from Inc. suggests, I too believe that there is going to be a monumental shift in the way that tracking, advertising and our online data is handled – and who is trused with it.

There are only so many press releases that can be swallowed before a sizeable chunk of users begin to smell that funky rain water while watching the flowers die.

As Will Bourne at Inc. so aptly put it, “only the suckers will fail to protect themselves. ”

That’s one reason I fav Wickr over many other messaging apps. It really get’s where the trend is going with user data.

Facebook, Google, Snapchat and others need to wake up and realize that users are actually seeing the flowers die. Not everyone is unable to smell that rain water.

resistance is here.
Nico Sell, Wickr

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