The Big Story: Surveillance Advertising

The Big Story podcast

What the ad tech industry calls personalization, academics, privacy advocates and folks on Capitol Hill have branded as “surveillance advertising.”

That pesky pair of proverbial shoes that follows you around the internet have gone from being the butt of a joke – a technical example of retargeting gone wrong — to an indictment of programmatic.

At a recent International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) conference in Washington, DC, the term “surveillance advertising” cropped up everywhere. FTC commissioner Noah Philips is against the blanket term, which FTC Chair Lina Khan favors. We also discuss the latest on child privacy laws and get into Apple CEO Tim Cook’s speech about the perils of not prioritizing privacy. Specifically, Cook isn’t a fan of the Open App Markets Act, which he claims would sacrifice user privacy in the name of protecting competition.

Then, we talk about the rise of in-game advertising. Xbox is considering adding more advertising and in-game ad startups like Frameplay are wooing  advertisers with all the bells and whistles they’ve come to expect from digital, including viewability measurement.

But, like streaming, video gaming is a medium that attracts users who are willing to pay for games and who dislike interruptive ads. That’s why most games put out by the big studios don’t run ads – while free mobile games often pummel users with advertising. Where’s the happy medium? We discuss the user experience and the technical obstacles that in-game advertising needs to overcome in order to level up.


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