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Advertisements: How Companies Target Consumers Using Technology

999 words - 4 pages

Advertisements are all around us. They affect what we eat, drink, see, hear, and think. However, have companies gone too far? Companies have begun exploiting potential consumers through unethical means. These methods include tracking your internet search history (Mills 1-2), placing ads for alcohol and cigarettes in impoverished neighborhoods (Collins 1), and showing general disregard towards the health of people in non-white communities(Collins 1). This will be proven through the analyzation of how companies target consumers using technology, the examination of billboards and their relation to racial inequalities in health, as well as the investigation of why African Americans have such a gap in health when compared to whites. Along with this, I will be studying the artistic proofs of the supporting documents. By the end of this piece, I hope you can agree that companies’ methods of contemporary advertising are a breach of rights.
Over two billion people use the internet, for many different means. However, for whatever reason it is being used, companies are recording the websites that are being visited. In Elinor Mills’ , staff writer at CNET News, article, “Target me with your ads, please”, she quotes Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, “"There really are no legal limitations today on what companies can do with personal information they collect for targeting purposes." (Mills 2) For the executive director of a private information center to say that, says a lot about the advertising industry. Due to the ever-advancing technology, companies are gaining more ways to connect with the consumer. However, companies advertise rampantly, and without proper checks in place, the civil rights of the populace will continue to be violated. In fact, “Yahoo has been doing behavioral targeting for more than six years” (Mills 1). The right to privacy is constitutional, and due to the constant monitoring of our activity, companies are infringing upon our rights. Companies that we trust every day with our inner most secrets are denying our right to privacy, including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Facebook (Mills 1). These companies then record the information and sell it to the highest bidder, who then use it to decide what advertisements to target you with. In addition, once your information is sold, you cannot get it back (Mills 1). However, companies disregard rights outside of the digital world, as well.
The use of “concrete” advertising also affects our daily lives. Through the use of benches, buses, and billboards, companies attempt to appeal to consumers. However, companies have still found ways to potentially violate civil rights. In impoverished and minority neighborhoods, fast-food, cigarette, and alcohol ads are much more likely to be found. (Collins 1) Though the Brown v. Board of Education case founded that the “separate but equal” policy was unjust, segregation still occurs, because you do not get to...

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