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OPLIN 4Cast #627: Think you’re being stalked? You’re not wrong

Posted in 4cast, and privacy

For a long time, I’ve resisted purchasing a voice assistant for my home. The idea of having something “always listening” seems too intrusive to me (and, yes, I know my phone is already doing that, but I’m good with the cognitive dissonance). However, the latest news from the advertising realm has me realizing that Alexa and her ilk might actually be the least of my worries.

  • Walmart secured a patent to eavesdrop on shoppers and employees [The Verge] “That’s where the intrigue stops and the anxiety begins. The system wouldn’t just be an anti-theft tool, but a way to also monitor employee interactions with customers and possibly monitor what customers are saying in real time about products.”
  • IRL Ads Are Taking Scary Inspiration From Social Media[Medium] ”
    During this year’s Fashion Week in New York, a digital billboard ad for New Balance used A.I. technology to detect and highlight pedestrians wearing “exceptional” outfits. A billboard advertisement for the Chevy Malibu recently targeted drivers on Interstate 88 in Chicago by identifying the brand of vehicle they were driving, then serving ads touting its own features in comparison.  “
  • Is Instagram Ear Hustling Your Conversation to Create Targeted Ads? [] ” It doesn’t stop at what you view on other sites. Instagram users are receiving targeted advertisements based on the conversations they have with friends. “
  • Google’s Targeted Ads Are Coming to a Billboard Near You [Bloomberg] ” But it could mean that, when a train full of Borussia Dortmund fans arrives at Munich’s main station ahead of the Bayern Munich fixture, the advertising hoarding changes to show soccer cleats or beer, while on a Monday morning at rush hour it displays BMW ads for well-to-do commuters. “

From the Ohio Web Library: