What do you know about your advertiser?

Recently even the paid media I have been using were having ads. It seems there is no running away from this; data collection/targeting is going to be the norm. It is quite annoying because in one of the sites I had my phone number for 2 factor authentication, another site had my contact number to reach out to me and both of these shared the numbers and activities with each other.

It took a while to figure out how is this psychic behaviour happening. Need to connect various dots. It will also be impossible to sign up for anything digital if you have to go through the terms and conditions to understand what are you losing as a private individual.

A thought experiment I had was to bring a law like the “Do not disturb” registry for telemarketers. This is something like “Know your advertiser law”. Each ad should have a link saying how did the advertiser decide to show an ad to us. With the link we will be able to identify what private items have been breached and how, then have a handle to reset the identifiers or invoke the right to forget button.

Why I am worried right now is, I thought if I pay for digital services then I would be safe from prying eyes, but increasingly corporations are getting greedier and breaching trust. Without some laws that protect individuals and privacy through some powerful tools, it is not going to be easy to stop this non sense going on even if you start paying for their services.


  1. “Know your advertiser” sounds like a good idea. https://adssettings.google.com/ seems to turn off personalised ads (I am turning it off now) but it doesn’t stop ads completely.

    It also seems like not enough people buy/subscribe to services, maybe things will get better when there is better monetary support for the people who develop things.

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