Imagine a world where advertisers would be able to predict your detailed behavior online. They would know when you are about to buy a song, a car, a present for your spouse – they would know virtually everything you are thinking.
If you believe this is impossible then you would be wrong as there are a few companies who have access to enough Internet data to make this privacy lover’s nightmare a reality and believe it or not a relatively new science called behavioral targeting is taking the online advertising world by storm.
In an March 2007 article in Business 2.0 titled The Quest For The Perfect Online Ad
, the author points out that Yahoo!
is one of the leading companies in the behavioral targeting space. A candid interview with Yahoo!’s Dr. Usama Fayyad the company’s Executive Vice President of Research & Strategic Data Solutions shows Fayyad thinks showing ads based on behavioral targeting is much more powerful than simply showing ads based on simple search queries.
A salient quote from Fayyad in fact is “I know more about your intent than any 1,000 keywords you could type.
Yahoo has 12 terabytes of user data flowing through it everyday and to put this in perspective, this amount represents more data than the entire Library of Congress! Fayyad proudly says he can predict with 75% certainty which of the 300,000 monthly visitors to Yahoo!