September 14, 2015 / Marketing Turkiye – The importance of the internet is increasing day by day; according to the US data of ‘Strategy Anlaytics’, the share of digital in advertising spending increased by 13% in 2015; television increased by 42% while digital advertising usage increased by 28%.
Cookie Law and trojans
But what is the cookie law adopted by the European Union in 2009 and what do internet users know about this digital tracking? Probably very little. Every time you enter a website, a small file is placed on your computer, with this file, dozens of data such as which pages you enter on the website; which links you click on and then which sites you are redirected to are sent to the site owner – the brand. Even from the operating system you use to your computer hardware. It would not be correct to call it a Trojan or a virus, but a cookie is a kind of clean Trojan. It enters your computer and starts tracking. Does that sound a bit scary? Wait, but we’ve only just started, we’re going to talk about your digital accounts, mobile applications and even your social media channels!
The speed and development of the digital world
The digital world is where the world is going step by step, especially with the widespread use of smartphones, the mobile world continues to rise rapidly. The potential digital hunger in the Middle East and African countries still whets the appetite of international brands. This growth in the world is expected to continue until 2020. But what do you think users would do if they knew they were being followed in this digital world? Fear, anxiety and escape! Here, when cookie law was accepted for the first time, website entries decreased as a result of communication work; yes, you did not read it wrong. People are afraid of what they don’t know and with the announced law, they realized that they were actually being tracked for the first time.
Let’s take a brief look at the realities of digital tracking
Some readers may immediately say that cookie reception records can be turned off; yes, you can use your internet settings to say that you do not want cookie recording. But for example, if you have a Google account, do you know that the words you search for and all the sites you visit are recorded? Go to your Google settings and you may find 10 years of saved data. You can delete them, but how many people do you think are aware of such a thing! Do you know that Facebook users actually receive a lot of data about their age, gender, marital status, even whether they are related to washing machines or whether they are related to mobile phones up to the model? None of this data collection is illegal, it is all legal. But most of the users are probably not aware of any of this.
Today, companies can target Facebook or Google ads; they can get dozens of information from age range to gender, from the city you live in to your interests. Even from your internet site browsing habits, the program algorithm can make a classification. Of course, this information given to brands is mass, absolutely not personal; in a way, if we play devil’s advocate, the most appropriate advertisement is shown to the customer by targeting correctly according to the interests of the users!
But what about the widespread mobile applications; you can give dozens of information to application managers with a single installation.
Even if you are not registered separately from this, you can be tracked with a single digital data you send in the digital world. For example, when you type the ABCX brand, you can immediately be caught by the system. Digital tracking never ends; I think it’s starting to smell a bit like the Matrix and a bit like Star Wars.
Future scenarios in digital tracking
But do you think digital follow-ups will stop there? The answer is, of course not! With newly developed technologies, users’ internet habits will continue to be tracked more and more. Depending on people’s facial expressions, their likes or dislikes can be measured. Research shows that it is 90% successful. Imagine you open the website, you are watching a video ad and the system starts recording your facial expressions; then it puts definitions such as like, hate, neutral and you don’t know anything. Sounds scary! Let’s give you another data: just the other day a world-famous television brand announced a new technology: televisions that will automatically adjust commands such as light settings, volume settings, etc. according to your facial expressions; imagine you are at home and they are following you! I think it’s scary…
Ethical approach and limited freedoms
In fact, the essence of the matter is that the collection of self-identifiable data such as name-surname or IP, as well as internet behavior analysis with the consent of the person should not be considered as any intervention within the scope of personal rights and freedoms. However, I think it is unethical to collect and track this data without the consent or even knowledge of the person. On this issue, both in our country and in the world, especially companies that provide a large share of this cake should increase their communication efforts to inform. However, why do you think that the efforts towards this do not continue to increase; do you think that the expected fear and anxiety worries you!
Vinton Cerf, the founder of the Internet, says: ‘My wife can now talk to our son, who is studying at university, via the Internet. Who knows, maybe I invented the internet to make my wife happy!’. But who do you think the giant brands of the internet invented this digital tracking business to make happy; certainly not us!