What is Data Mining?

Data Mining is what advertisers do to sell you stuff.


Advertisers track your internet habits — which sites you visit, what you buy, where you live, how much you earn, how you probably vote, opinions you may hold — to help them create a profile of you and your family. And now with Smart Devices, advertisers even know where you are at this moment and can show you advertising for the shop right down the road.

The sophistication of these efforts is increasing exponentially and your ability to deny them access to your preferences and habits, “to opt-in or opt-out,” becomes ever more difficult — especially when your ‘free’ access to an internet service seems conditional on your acceptance of their spying and information gathering activities.

Public sentiment is growing against these marketing activities:

KPMG Consumer and Conveyance Report for 2011 indicated: 46% of consumers surveyed were, “Somewhat willing,”  to be tracked.


“Most of those surveyed, ‘did not even know that they are being tracked — and don’t know the quantity and nature of the information being collected.’ This fact means most of those surveyed would have difficulty forming a ‘consent’ to opt-in or opt-out.”

Therefore, the number of people, 38%, who are “not at all willing,” to be tracked should increase, if those previously unaware were made aware of, the dimensions and depth of tracking and profiling, and the survey question repeated.

This information is based on information provided by Office of the Privacy Commission of Canada.

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Online Behavior Advertising is more lucrative than Random Advertising (least,) Contextual Advertising (better than,) Webpage Contextual Advertising (even more targeted.) Online Behavioral Advertising is the most efficient way to serve individuals a target message.

This last, more than the other other forms, depends on tracking across multiple unrelated websites and the acquisition of user data that when combined will make a profile of personal information sufficient to identify individuals.

Though OBA exists, The Commission does not believe that safeguards to protect the public from profiling abuses are adequate now, or will be, and are not in favor of OBA at this time.