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Targeted Advertising
I am ready to blow my fuse and thought I would get some advice before i did it.

I realize that google and whatever else wants to follows my searches in order to target me with specific ads to specific advertisers. It is annoying but "I get it" and this is not my intended target.

I am pissed off especially at facebook for assuming so much BECAUSE I am gay. 

For instance - I keep getting "suggestions" of pages with "hot looking men". UGH - SO NOT MY THING. I think they ASSUME if I am gay I want to look at "hot looking men". 

So - I wonder if they send heterosexual people ads for "hot looking women" or "hot looking men" LOLOL I think NOT! I have never typed in or searched for any damn pictures of men so WHY WHY WHY do they assume that is what I want to see? Besides being a huge YAWN for me - I have ZERO interest in looking at anyone's pictures. 

I have asked them nicely and filled out their damn forms NOT to "suggest" that garbage to me but no luck. 

So now - I am going to suggest to them to start sending these obnoxious suggestions to heterosexuals. 

Any insight or suggestions BEFORE I write my letter? I am angry about it and when I am angry I do not always communicate in the best manner.
I don't really have a solution but are you using Chrome as your internet browser?

With Chrome, every step/thing you do on the net will go back to Google. Google will try to 'guess' and 'decide' what you want based on the history of your search. And that includes guessing your sexual orientation.

I use Chrome for work (habit) and Firefox for personal use.

Firefox works better as the browser will block Google analytics and alike. 

I'm not saying it's safer with Firefox but it's a better alternative. 

Sorry that I'm not able to provide better insight or suggestion on this matter.
[-] The following 1 member Likes Jay's post:
  • eastofeden
Hi Jay! I do use chrome  but I am also a tech idiot so I am going to show your suggestion to my husband who is not a tech idiot and have him do what you suggest. I know Norton asks me alot about blocking stuff but I am afraid to change anything. 

Thanks for the suggestion!
[-] The following 1 member Likes eastofeden's post:
  • Jay
No problem! Google will try to 'guess' and 'decide' what you want based on the history of your search. And that includes guessing your sexual orientation.

So having Firefox will probably help to reduce the problem that you're having.
[-] The following 1 member Likes Jay's post:
  • eastofeden
Yep, they all track you. Google, Facebook, Twitter, even good ol Apple.

Obviously they've figured out that you're gay. As to what specific ads you see, well it's just based on the stereotype that gay guys like to hookup for casual sex. I don't know that their ads get more specific. For instance, if I search for car parts, I see ads for AutoZone, NAPA and so on or maybe they figure I might need a new car so I see a Lexus ad or some shit. Of course it goes further than that. For instance, visiting GS, is probably enough for them to figure out that you're a gay male, they probably know your age, interests, things you bought off Amazon, hell they might predict your next purchase. They know where you live and where you go, thanks to your smartphone and they're able to associate all your device to you even though you might use different accounts on them. The amount of data collected is atrocious. Then thanks to data analysts, software developers, they're able to take all the data collected, the sites you visit, the information you put on them, GPS, purchases, emails, etc, etc they're able to create a very detailed profile of you.

I *DO* think it is an invasion of privacy, unfortunately I think it is far too late to put that genie back in the bottle. There things you can do to stop or reduce this data collection but it is a pain in the ass and next to impossible on any smartphone. You can use stuff like Pi hole for DNS, ad blockers, use other browsers like Brave, but your internet experience will change and probably for the worse as many websites can tell if you're blocking ads, cookies and so on.

That being said, even with all they know about you they might just show ads that don't really fit.

Unfortunately the amount of money spent to Lobby for privacy is pretty small compared to the companies that do want your data. Same thing with right to repair... Apple would rather you buy another iPhone for $2,000 and throw the old one in a landfill than to take it to someone to have the screen replaced. Apple, and others, have gone through great lengths to make their phones difficult if not impossible to repair, including serializing components so the phone knows you have a different screen, a different camera or battery which can sometimes render the device useless. It's not just Apple and phones, its every industry, it's car manufacturers, military industry, farming equipment (read about John Deere), even the ice cream machine that breaks all the time in McDonalds is all over these companies to make more money and stripping you of your ownership rights. After all, if you can't repair or do what you want to something you've bought, do you really own it?

I only mention right to repair because it kind of rhymes with this invasion of privacy we have on the internet. I think because people don't see what is happening in the background or don't understand how it works, they're able to get away with it because we all weren't looking. While I think things like GDPR is a start it definitely doesn't do enough, as far as I'm concerned it is a pain in the ass that I have to keep a plugin on my blog that says my site might save a cookie, when I personally don't collect anything. I keep stats on how many visitors my site gets but that's it. I don't know how many are male or female, how old they are or what their interests are.

As far as Norton blocking things, I think as long as you're running Windows or MacOS, it is probably not going to be nearly enough. I'd just run an ad blocker and just unblock sites that complain about your ad blocker. Beyond that, I'd suggest living in the woods and going off grid lol. I mean it is far more work than it's worth to truly be anonymous on the internet.

I do use Chrome despite shitting all over it, but I do use an Extension called AdBlock which works fairly well, there's others like uBlockOrgin, but I think AdBlock is the easiest to use.

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[-] The following 1 member Likes InbetweenDreams's post:
  • eastofeden

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