Most websites and apps ask you for your email address.
Companies contact you through your email.
Also, companies track your activities from here on out.
New Delhi. When you browse the web, websites and apps ask you for your email address You feel free to hand over your email address to them. This usually doesn’t seem like a bad thing to us, but did you know that when you write your email to an app or website, you’re sharing more than just email with them?
However, after what we are going to tell you today, you should definitely think twice before handing over your email address to any website. In fact, your email is not only important for advertisers, web publishers and app developers to contact you, it also serves as a digital breadcrumb for companies. Through this, your activity on the Site and App is linked to show you relevant ads.
For decades, the digital advertising industry has relied on invisible trackers placed inside websites and apps to follow our activities and then show us targeted ads. However, in the last few years, this system has undergone major changes. This includes a software feature release by Apple in 2021.
This feature introduced by Apple allows iPhone users to stop tracking apps and websites from using cookies Because of this, advertisers, web publishers, and app makers are now trying to track people in other ways, and one simple way is to ask for an email address.
I can take your email address and find data that you’ll never know you gave that data to a brand, says Michael Priam, CEO of Modern Impact, an advertising agency in Minneapolis. The amount of customer data we have is truly staggering.
Created your profile
Over the years the digital advertising industry has collected a profile of you based on the sites you visit on the web. Information about you is collected through anonymous means, including the above cookies and invisible trackers placed within the app. Now that more and more companies are discontinuing the use of those methods and adopting new technologies.
Unified ID 2.0
Meanwhile, one technology that is gaining traction is Unified ID 2.0. It is an ad framework developed by Trade Desk, an ad-tech company in California. If you shop on a sneaker website using UID 2.0, you’ll get a pop up asking you to share your email address.
Once you enter your email, UID 2.0 converts it into a token made up of a string of numbers and digits. That token is carried along with your email address when you use UID 2.0 to log into the sports streaming app on your TV.
Access to personal information
Advertisers can link the two accounts together based on the token, and they can target you with sneaker ads on sports streaming apps because they know you’ve visited a sneaker website. Because your email address is not disclosed to the advertiser, UID 2.0 can be seen as a move away from traditional cookie-based tracking for customers, giving advertisers access to your detailed browsing history and personal information.
What to do to avoid it?
There are several options for limiting advertising companies’ ability to target you based on your email address. To avoid this, create different email addresses. Apart from this, you can create a unique address to log into each site or app. This will make it difficult for ad tech companies to collect profiles based on your email handle.
Use email-masking tools
Apple and Mozilla offer tools that automatically generate email aliases to log into an app or site. Emails sent under an alias are forwarded to your original email address.
Also opt out whenever possible. For sites that use the UID 2.0 framework for ad targeting, you can opt out by entering your email address at https://transparentadvertising.org.
First Published: January 27, 2023, 13:10 IST