Ad for apartment complex in Sarasota, Florida shows up on The Dallas Morning News' website

Big Data and The Dallas Morning News

For this blog post, I set out to perform a little experiment. I pulled up the newspaper’s website,, then opened another window and searched Amazon for something unusual – toothpaste. I wanted to see if an add for toothpaste would appear after I refreshed

It didn’t, but something else did happen that kind of proved my point. An add for my apartment building in Sarasota, Florida did appear. You had to scroll quite a ways to see it, but it was there — luxury living in Downtown Sarasota at the Elan Rosemary!

Does this necessarily bother me, that The Dallas Morning News knows where I live, and sends me ads that might cater to that location? No, it doesn’t. What bothers me is the slippery slope ahead in the name of personalized consumerism. Where’s the line between convenience and intrusion? I don’t think it’s been established yet, and until it is I’d prefer The Dallas Morning News and other outlets get up and out of my business.

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