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Google or Facebook: Who do you trust with all of your data?

facebook-privacy-issues.jpg I am sure by now you have noticed that whenever you are on Facebook, ironically all of the ads along the right side of the screen are things that would be of interest to you. This is not just a coincidence. Everything you do on Facebook is associated with you. From entering if you are a male or female, to checking if you are married, to listing your favorite music groups, all the way to “liking” a page.  I personally have it listed all over my profile that I love sports. And I have several sport teams pages “liked”. So I see a lot of ads that are for sports; sometimes an option to buy cheap sporting event tickets and a lot of “get your favorite team gear at 10% off”. I have a friend that is currently engaged, and has that listed on her profile; so she sees a lot of ads about wedding planning.

I watched an interview with Josh James (founder of Adobe Omniture) a couple of days ago, you can find the whole interview here: http://www.commodity-trading-basics.com/TB/?P=5360. Josh spoke about many things, but a couple of things really stood out to me. Like the kind of power that Facebook has, and also about targeted advertising.

So my question to you is this… do you consider the way that Facebook advertises as an invasion of privacy? How do you know that you can trust Facebook with so much personal data? The truth is, this is just the beginning. It won’t be long until we are targeted every time we enter a website. When we first entered all of our information on Facebook, did we really have any idea that it would be used to generate advertisements to us as well? I didn’t. However, I know better than to put confidential information on any website and I suggest that if it is something that is so personal that you don’t want to be advertised to for it, then it is probably too personal to be posting on any website. You must also remember that you are giving up personal information every time you make a purchase and/or search on the web, not just information you type on Facebook.

Josh James stated in the interview, that for this targeted advertising to move forward, the data would have to be held by a company that everyone trusts, and would have to be anonymous. Then that data will be sold to companies for them to advertise to us. Would you trust Google with all of your personal information? Or how about Facebook? I personally trust both of these companies with enough information to advertise to me specifically.  In fact, I have made many purchases from ads that have been placed there just for me. What good would it do me, or the advertiser, to be giving me cat advertisements when I am a dog lover?

For people to get through the sales funnel, it is said they must go through the acronym “AIDA”. Which means that you must first get their Attention, have their Interest, followed by their Desire, and then of course Action. The way I see it, if the person is being specifically targeted, then the only thing left is Action. This is the new way of advertising, and it makes sense. Why spend an obscene amount of money advertising to the wrong group of people? I agree with Josh James, as long as the data is held and used in the correct way, this will be the only way to advertise in the near future.

What do you think, is Facebook invading your privacy? Would you allow Facebook to anonymously give all of your information to advertisers so that you could be specifically targeted? For me, I’m all in! Send me all of the Lakers gear, women’s shoes, Orange County news, poker, and dog accessories ads you can. I’ll buy!

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