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A fellow digital advertising practitioner recently posted the following: “Facebook – the user pays no cash to use the service. The business requires billions to keep providing the user the service. The business needs to make revenue somehow. The business sells advertising. Your data (browsing DNA) is used to optimise the advertising process and increase value for advertisers. Fairly simple equation, I’d say. If you don’t want this to happen – disable your account. PS – brands use social listening tools daily to better understand sentiment. This is nothing new.” In other words, let them eat ads. Many of us appreciate optimised advertising that makes smart use of personal data to deliver messages that are relevant to our needs and interests. But my own experience as a consumer leads me to believe that some social media giants have overstepped the mark in the personal data they collect about us and how they put it to work. For example, when Facebook suggests a business acquaintance as ...

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