GeoIP is the concept that allows you to map a user's IP to the country it came from (I hacked up my commenting system just so you can see an example, if you are a visual type of person). Advertisers have long since picked up on this as a way to make their ads "better," hopefully becoming more appealing to their clientele. Sometimes the adaptation doesn't quite work as expected. This morning I was searching for an eBook on Embedded Linux (it is really hard to find English tech books here) -- and just had to snap a few screenshots. The advertisers picked up my IP, from Taiwan, and "customized" the advertisement. Needless to say, I've seen a total of five white females here over the entire last year.
This reminded me just how much crap people know about me; since I'm in a coffeeshop, I don't really care, but still. So, why do I hate GeoIP advertising?
- It reminds me how much crap people know about me
- It reminds me that I should be using the Tor network
- Instead of displaying contextual ads that I even might be a little inclined to click, it reminds me how much I hate advertising
- Remember, I'm in a coffee shop? GeoIPized Girls = have to sit with back to wall.
Being curious, I decided to see if I could teleport the girls to other parts of the world. Enter Tor, Privoxy and FoxyProxy. I turned them all on, went back and remembered just how cool these tools really are.