What is Copilot?

We have all had it where you might be talking about something and a day later you get an advert for exactly that thing. Its creepy! Does this mean your phone is listening to you though?

Honestly, I think the truth is actually scarier than your phone listening to you!

Have you ever heard of the term “behavioural advertising’? This is when companies such as Google generate a profile of you. This profile is built up over time. It is based on your internet activity, location, demographics and more.

It is disturbingly easy for these companies to make pretty accurate guesses about what you hear and talk about. The way they do this is by pairing current trends and popular culture with the profile they have generated of you. This includes your location, search history, daily routine and the people you socialise with.

Now you might be thinking “but I am having ads for things I have only spoken about.” This is due to these companies knowing the people you socialise with. Say you live with your partner and have spoken in passing about needing a new kettle. You may not have gotten around to searching for a kettle. However, if you are getting ads for it, it is likely your partner has had a quick browse. Using your location these companies can also sync your data with those in your vicinity such as friends. That is why after having a conversation with a friend you might notice ads about things you have discussed. The algorithm is comparing your advertising profile with whomever you spend time with and showing you ads that you both have in common.

Google is very transparent about its surveillance and targeted ads. There is even a page where you can see the things that Google thinks about you. This includes brands and ads they think you will like. You can also see your purchase and search history, YouTube videos you have watched and more. You can see your page here.

If you don’t like the idea of these companies knowing everything about you, there are things you can do to help prevent targeted ads. You can turn off app and website tracking. You can also turn off personalised adverts and you can change your privacy setting in apps you download onto your phone.

What do you think about targeted ads? Do you think they are harmless or does it creep you out how much information these big companies have on you?

Let us know!


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