In the media

Online advertisers are getting better at identifying you

By Mark Huffman


20 June 2023

Richard Watson-Bruhn, the US Head of Digital Trust and Cybersecurity at PA Consulting, discusses privacy concerns with targeted advertising.

Read the full article in ConsumerAffairs

The article notes that targeted advertising is becoming increasingly effective, which is why you may be bombarded with ads for a product within minutes after searching its category online. To some, it’s merely creepy but to others it can pose an invasion of privacy.

According to the online publication The Markup, advertisers are getting highly personal. Its analysis of 650,000 audience segments shows advertisers could, if they wanted to, identify you as a “heavy purchaser” of pregnancy test kits and target you with ads accordingly.

Privacy experts say as online advertising becomes increasingly granular consumers’ privacy is at risk.

Richard said: “There have been examples of privacy harms from data gathering and targeting of advertising over decades, a classic example being unrequested coupons for expectant mothers based on spending habits inadvertently informing other household members. The challenge is a balance of the privacy harms and expectations of a consumer with a consistent desire many of us have for personalized experiences and offers.”

Experts agree that consumers need to be aware of the dangers of revealing too much personal health data online.

Explore more

Contact the team

We look forward to hearing from you.

Get actionable insight straight to your inbox via our monthly newsletter.