Google Game Ads Patent Sets Off Privacy Debate

Google may use games to analyse net users from The Guardian reports that Google is considering the idea of using gaming behavior to display targeted ads to that user. Privacy advocates are already voicing their distaste for the idea of gleaning information on users based on their gaming behaviors. To me, this is just like the Gmail ad debate, which has died down since they first launched.

Google, which is known to be interested in in game ads, has filed a patent application that Bill Slawski explains as:

Google looks at ways of determining user information for use in targeting ads, and determining and serving relevant ads in video games. They take into account a person’s interests and gaming behavior by monitoring and making inferences from their online gaming activities.

The Open Rights Group said, “I can understand why they are interested in this, but I would be deeply disturbed by a company holding a psychological profile.” The Guardian explains that Google can learn a lot about a user within one of these online role playing games such as Second Life. Google would love to show ads that are relevant to the user.

The Guardian spoke with Google, which said “it did not have any plans to roll out the technology in the near future.” When and if Google launches these ads, I am sure there will be a spark of controversy at the onset which will die down over time.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Google: Other Ads | Google: Patents | Legal: Privacy

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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