“Ad tech” (read: spyware) company El Toro is just one company in an industry full of competitors, but their description of their capabilities struck me as particularly flagrant in its utter disregard for privacy:
As a marketing organization focused on sales not metrics, El
Toro’s ad tech brings the location-specific accuracy of direct
mail to digital advertising. Through our patented IP
Targeting technology we target digital ads to your customer
by matching their IP address with their physical address, bringing
a wide variety of banner and display ads to the sites the targeted
customer visits on the Internet.
Specifically, El Toro offers: Targeting without having to use
cookies, census blocks, or geo-location tools.
They claim the ability not just to match your IP address to a general location, but to your exact home street address, and from there to specific devices within your home. Their pitch to would-be advertisers is that they can target you by IP address the same way marketers send all those print catalogs to your house. From their above-linked IP Targeting website:
The El Toro patented algoirthm [sic] uses 38+ points of data to
match an IP to a household with 95% accuracy.
Do I believe they can match IPs to street addresses with 95 percent accuracy? No. I wouldn’t believe a word out of these guys’ mouths, to be honest. But the fact that they can do it with any degree of accuracy is a problem that needs to be solved.
Why doesn’t Apple build a VPN into its OSes? Or as an offering of paid iCloud accounts at least? At this point, if privacy truly is a paramount concern, it might be necessary to do everything over a trusted VPN. IP addresses are inherently not private.
★ Thursday, 25 February 2021