Thanks for taking time to leave a rare comment, Fred. I really appreciate it. It’s also great hearing from someone who’s in advertising and is experiencing these changes firsthand.
Like you, I worked on persona-based features, but in an engineering discipline in tech. It’s quite shocking how much information is collected (or even simply available via third party tools).
In a discussion with friends, I mused how when you’re in the midst of designing features for the “greater good” (aka: your company, which you may not view as evil), you don’t necessarily question the data being collected. Sometimes you even wish there was more of it, because it would make implementing your features — and doing your job — easier.
But then when you get out on the other side or read about how machine learning can be applied to something as simple as a set of Facebook likes to predict people’s lives, behavior, and influence them… well, it gives you a very different perspective. Suddenly information that seemed trivial — information which you were more than happy to divulge — becomes a privacy concern because it can reveal far more than you ever realized.