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Outside the advertising industry, most call it stalking.
The most straightforward approach to combating targeted web ads is via the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI), a cooperative of online marketing and analytics companies that, straight from the horse's mouth, are "committed to building consumer awareness and establishing responsible business and data management practices and standards.
Back in the eighties, I used to hate television commercials, but I eventually got used to them. Then, the increasing number of billboard ads annoyed me in the nineties.
They followed me everywhere I went--no escape--persuading me to buy the newest whatever. But now that the whole world is connected to the Internet, advertisers are upping their game even more, with behavioral targeting.
If there wasn't any advertising, none of us would be addicted to the web because we couldn't afford it. So, whenever you see an ad on a website, you can choose to check it out or ignore it. It wouldn't seem right to waste money marketing the newest Ford truck to a quadriplegic, so online marketers went on their quest to make online ads more targeted, more relevant.
And website owners learned that the more focused the ads were, the more advertisers would pay them.
It seemed like Big Brotherism--like But, I got used to it. It's been around for a while, and if you've never heard of it--fine, then listen up--because you've been a target of it regardless.When I finally entered the digital age and became a web addict, I was peeved at the constant sight of online ads everywhere I visited. Advertising is absolutely necessary on the web to keep all of that content you love and enjoy free. Reasonably, those advertisers want a return on their investment, and that's where user demographics come into play.