From your iPad to your Android phone… you’re being tracked and sold. Drawbridge is tracking you across devices and selling your information to advertisers. Instead of following your cookie history, your user information is being sold.
The service itself, Drawbridge, uses data gathered over multiple devices to match up to one user (owner of the devices) and have ads tailored specifically for them across each device. This is done by observing the behavior patterns of devices, such as time of day and location; to match up the devices to the same user. This allows advertisers to target their key audiences with similar ad campaigns from desktop computers to other mobile devices.
Some people feel a little bit uneasy with someone gathering info on what they do online and using it for their own purposes. The information gathered by Drawbridge is claimed to be mostly geolocation and IP addresses, which justifiably is cause for some concern. This means that the service gathers up data from any mobile device you may use and try to match it up with data with other devices that are similar. The advertisements you see on your personal home computer would essentially be similar, if not the same, as the ones you see on your mobile devices. This does bring up a lot of questions, mostly pertaining to privacy and invasiveness.
Drawbridge is an advertising service that was founded by Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, a former Google Scientist, in November of 2010. Since the founding of Drawbridge, the service has gained some interesting partnerships that have proved fruitful for the company. The service was officially backed by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufiel, as well as Byers and Sequoia Capital, which funded over $6.5 Million for cross-device ad targeting.
Drawbridge partnered up with smart data company eXelate in May of 2013 in order to strengthen their mobile ad targeting, gaining access to over 700 million people’s different household demographics and purchase intent. This tightens the gripes people have in regards towards their privacy. Yet regardless of the reception from anyone, it is hard fact that the reach of Drawbridge is one of the largest and most potent wells any company can pull from. Is this kind of information access morally right? That is up for the public to ultimately decide.
It’s important to understand that while systems such as Drawbridge, are tracking you, your phone carriers are selling your information to advertisers as well. This summer AT&T will be selling their customer data to marketers and offering a way to opt out. Not only that, but Verizon Wireless is offering to sell your information in exchange for coupons. How much privacy do you really have?
Written by Jakejames Lugo