The Privacy Struggle: Obnoxious Ads That Ignite White Hot Rage In Us All

published Aug 20, 2015
1 min read

Widespread blocking might not get rid of ads entirely, but perhaps they can make them better.


It is generally understood that when one goes on the internet, we have to take in the good with the bad. Like any healthy, fully-functioning organism, there is good and bad bacteria and sometimes good bacteria is tantamount to achieving well-being. The internet can be viewed the same. Installing ad-blocking apps certainly addresses our woes, but companies are beginning to adapt to this, and can actually inhibit the use of Adblocker through PageFair. The cycle goes on…

While we might consider advertising on the internet as the bane of our existence, it is the very thing that keeps publishers alive. Dare I say, it can potentially offer other benefits to our user experience. Users can attain more relevant content, but this can also open up a whole can of worms relating to the threshold to tracking and privacy. Timothy D. Cook, Apple’s chief executive recently delivered a speech where he admitted the trade-off at the heart of his industry. What is certain in this debate is that sleazy ads shouldn’t be a pay off.

The Pop-up Ad

Pop-up ads are the most intrusive, and unfortunately many website publishers need these to stay in business. While these pop-up ads are largely out of publisher’s hands, users should not be obliged to use bandwidth on loading content that they didn’t ask for. It shouldn’t fall on the user to download irrelevant code to view something that they actually wanted to look at. Furthermore, after this code is loaded, users are not really paying attention. If anything, it is hard enough for publishers to get users to look at their content. Publishers are able to get rid of excess data on their website by utilizing native advertising, which actually has more profitable outcomes.

The Banner Ad

The banner ad is that horizontal monstrosity at the top of your website, which tampers with the overall harmony of the page. Supporters argue that these ads are necessary and drive users to click other websites. This assists with conversion and without it, traffic plummets. By tracking your search history, these banners actually show ads based on previous searches. This might have worked in the outset, but the fact of the matter is that users are now practiced in the art of ignoring these ads due to the sheer influx. Even if these ads are targeted, it is actually more effective when using text ads because they fit the content. Users are less trained to ignore ads if they differ in aesthetics.

Google’s Defence of Privacy

Google admitting to certain privacy potholes and the importance of strengthening privacy is significant. However, Google is at the top of the food chain when it comes to collecting user data. Google’s acquiring of free-apps allows it to collect data about how we use technology. Apple also benefits from this and has a billion dollar deal with Google where users can have a myriad of free-apps from Apple’s App Store. The problem here is that technology companies aren’t really transparent about how they utilize data about users. The fact of the matter here is that tracking and collection is carried out without the user’s consent. More importantly, people don’t know the implications of visiting a page. These implications only come forth after visiting a page. This is the equivalent to being subject to a contract terms without being presented with the the full extent of the terms and conditions beforehand.