People who get spooked when online advertisements seem relevant – along with people who prefer it when ads actually relate to their interests – may appreciate a new step eBay’s taking. The auction company will attach icons to a number of ads, and these icons will allow individuals to express their wishes.
You can see the icon to the right, and Richard Brewer-Hay explained on the eBay Ink blog, "eBay has become one of several advertisers who’ve collaborated with industry groups to design and put an industry-standard icon on online ads on eBay from other advertisers, and on eBay’s online ads on other sites."
Brewer-Hay then continued, "The icon link will send visitors to a page with more information on privacy, where they will be able to specify their advertising preferences for customized ads on eBay.com and for eBay ads on other Web sites."
This is an interesting move on eBay’s part. It’s possible the company will encounter problems as people who were previously unaware of ad personalization practices find out about them. But on the whole, eBay may wind up looking like a leader in terms of transparency, and leave other corporations scrambling to avoid PR problems – or worse.
The icon rollout is supposed to take place over the next few days, so keep an eye out for the reactions of ordinary individuals and advertising-oriented companies.