It drives me crazy that this article was posted with "2014" randomly inserted throughout, but it's fascinating! Take the Citizens United ruling, add millions of dollars of anonymous donations. Now, give a bunch of that money to the nerds and ask them to specifically target specific ads to Internet browsers based on which sites have been visited. What a powerful tool!
Source: The Raw Story
Online advertising companies have amassed vast quantities of information on what individual people read, watch, and do on the Internet. They collect this data using small files called cookies, which allows them to track Internet users as they move from site to site.
These anonymous profiles of information are used to customize advertisements2014like sending casino ads to someone who just bought a plane ticket to Vegas.
But these profiles are also increasingly used by political groups, which can decide which people to target with a message2014and which people to avoid2014based on the kinds of articles they read and the kinds of sites they visit.