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Google’s Environment-Targeted Ads Patent

I f you thought Google’s online Ads are at times a bit too well targeted, just wait — it looks like they’re just getting started. It turns out a few years ago, Google filed a patent for a technology that would analyze background noise around your phone and then target ads accordingly. It’s called “Advertising based on environmental conditions”. Perhaps now is a good time to take a look at the opt-out process again for Google Ads

man on phone

Actually, the patent was filed for in 2008 but it’s caused quite a stir on the web today. The idea would be to use sensors to determine the environment in which a remote device is placed, and then serve advertisements in accordance to that.

The patent, which is very detailed, also includes information about how it could help sponsors configure their ad campaigns according to environmental conditions. I guess that means it probably won’t give you ads about Bible classes if it senses you’re in a bar (or maybe that’s exactly what you would get…).

It does sound a bit like something coming from “1984”, but Google was quick to send a comment to Gizmodo and other sites that wrote about the patent, saying that it files patents on a lot of ideas that its employees come up with and that some of those become real products and services while most do not. Therefore, it added that its patent applications are not necessarily indicating its future product announcements.

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