The New York Times released a report (with some fancy graphics) detailing location data use by apps for advertising, outside the main purpose of the app. Only 10 apps were covered in depth, but the findings reveal how some advertising companies aggregate location data from apps.
In his post Nobody is immune to ads, Georges Abi-Heila explores the psychology of how humans react to the barrage of brands and ads we see every day.
There’s no scientific consensus on the number of ads we’re exposed to daily, as estimates vary from a few hundreds to thousands. Why is it so hard to get a reasonable figure? Because it depends on a variety of factors that greatly affect the final result (sorted by level of importance):
What is considered an ad?
Including brand labels and logos can increase 10x the final result.
Think about every time you pass by a brand name in a supermarket, the label on everything you wear, the condiments in your fridge, the cars on the highway…
Where does the subject live?
The denser your living environment, the more ads you’re exposed to as companies fiercely compete for your attention (and, ultimately, your wallet). Visual pollution is one of the drawbacks of living in big city…
What is the subject’s job?
During work hours, a hotel receptionist sees a lot less ads than a truck driver which is less exposed than a social media manager.
Want to see an interesting example? Have an iPhone? Ignore for a moment all the brands you see from the icons on your home screen, this one is more subtle. What does it say in the top left corner?
So every time you pick up your phone you are served an ad for your cell carrier. Why does it exist? Do you frequently forget you are on the AT&T network?
Is it a big change? No. But one less ad in the thousands you see in a day.