Invasion of Privacy: AI Advertising Will Know You Better I

A man sitting in his living room and looking at his phone, a lot of colors and icons around hime

The future of advertising will be dramatically influenced by AI – the era of AI-driven personalised advertising. The loss of privacy will be a key concern, affecting both individuals and society as a whole. At an individual level, the relentless collection and analysis of personal data will lead to an invasion of personal space, a loss of autonomy and increased psychological stress. People’s every move will be monitored (even more than now), leading to unease and a sense of constant surveillance. At a societal level, this erosion of privacy threatens democratic values and leads to commercial exploitation of personal information, complex legal challenges and potential abuse (even more than before). This post explores the multiple implications of the loss of privacy and highlights the profound impact of AI personalised advertising on our lives and the very fabric of our society. I will try to address the multi-facetted perspective on AI-driven personalised advertising. In the first part I will have a closer look at the indiviual at the grip of AI-Advertisment.

Loss of Privacy

Privacy can be lost on many levels, on the individual one, on the smaller circle of family, friends and so on, and on the societal one. Starting with the individual, I will work my way up to the society itself.

Invasion of Personal Space

In the modern digital landscape, personalised advertising has become a ubiquitous phenomenon. Driven by the desire to create more engaging and effective marketing strategies, companies are turning to AI and big data to tailor ads to individual consumers, here Google is the leading company to show you exactly what you “want”. However, this hyper-personalisation comes at a cost, particularly in the form of an invasion of personal space.

Personalised advertising requires the collection and analysis of vast amounts of personal data. This goes beyond mere preferences and purchase history. Today’s algorithms can track and analyse browsing habits, location, social media interactions and even biometric information such as facial expressions and voice patterns. The depth and breadth of this data collection is unprecedented, and it’s often done without the explicit consent or even awareness of the individuals involved, even across website where consent is not given at all.

This invasion of personal space can lead to significant consumer discomfort. The realisation that one’s every move, click and preference is being monitored and analysed can create a sense of constant surveillance. It’s as if a watchful eye is always present, scrutinising personal choices and behaviours. This sense of being watched can lead to a loss of privacy and a sense of vulnerability as personal boundaries seem to be erased. It seems as 1984 was mistaken as a manual instead of a warning to all of us; to quote Timothy Snyder: “History does not repeat, but it does instruct.”

Moreover, the use of such personal data for commercial gain raises ethical questions about autonomy and consent. Are individuals truly free to explore, shop and interact online without judgement or manipulation? Is it acceptable for companies to profit from deeply personal insights into an individual’s life? These questions highlight the complex interplay between technological innovation, commercial interests and individual rights.

In conclusion, the invasion of personal space by personalised advertising is a growing concern that touches on fundamental aspects of human dignity and privacy. As technology advances (especially with AI being ubiquitous in our ditigal lifes) and personalisation becomes more sophisticated, the need to address these concerns becomes more urgent. Balancing the benefits of personalised advertising with the preservation of personal space will require thoughtful consideration, transparent practices and a commitment to respecting individual autonomy and privacy. How we address this issue will shape not only the future of advertising, but also the nature of our relationship with technology and the digital world.

The next part will address Loss of Autonomy and Control.