Dr. Nathalie Maréchal in a very damning essay on targeted advertising has this brutal quote:
“That’s all ‘AI’ and ‘machine learning’ is for these companies: getting better at guessing what ads to show you,” (Tim) Libert said. “Every tiny bit of data increases the chances they show the ‘right’ ad so they never stop, they never sleep, and they never respect your privacy—every single day everybody at Google collectively works to one purpose: getting the percentage of ‘right’ ads shown slightly higher.”
You could add Facebook to Google there too. And one more brutal quote:
This logic of “engagement” is motivated by the twin needs to collect more data and show more ads, and manifests itself in algorithms that value popularity over quality. In less than 20 years, Silicon Valley has replaced editorial judgment with mathematical measures of popularity, destabilized the democratic systems of checks and balances by hobbling the Fourth Estate, and hammered nail after nail into the coffin of privacy.
Having read this, I’m working on a site redesign which will remove custom fonts, which I think is the last bit I can ditch to making this site as free from, tracking as possible.