Shrug Off "Atlas", Facebook's New Ad-Stalking Network

You are a target.  Your likes, dislikes, and desires, as manifested via the internet, make you prime material for directed advertising, and social media giant Facebook knows it.  That's why they're stepping in to make their ads follow you around the internet, like a lost dog of consumerism, or perhaps an over-egregious door-to-door salesman inside your screen.

According to mashable.com, the targeted ads will start following you immediately.  You selections and mentions on facebook help them to direct material that they think you will be prone to clicking on, and thus your creepily-pertinent ad distractions will appear if you visit other facebook-affiliated sites (such as Amazon or various news outlets.)

Facebook's new ad network, Atlas, is responsible for this collection and dispersal.  A former Microsoft company which Facebook purchased for $100 million last year, Atlas tracks your verbiage and serves up what it feels is appropriate topical consumer choices.  Atlas CEO Erik Johnson stated this is superior to the logging of your info by your computer's "cookies", stating in a blog post that, "Cookies don’t work on mobile, are becoming less accurate in demographic targeting and can’t easily or accurately measure the customer purchase funnel across browsers and devices or into the offline world."

Now that they've stepped up their game, so can you.  Services like Adblock, Ghostery, NoScript and Disconnect.me can help to combat the ever-encroaching e-eyeballs and protect your privacy.  So if you've ever had the sneaking suspicion that your paper trail needs to be burned, now you know how to fire it up.

You don't want to be on the shoulders of the Atlas that hefts the world wide web.

5 comments: