The one modern marketing practice that often stirs the most suspicion: internet tracking. 


“With so much of our lives posted so accessibly on a worldwide system, and living as we do in a world driven by markets, it was only a matter of time before buyers and sellers got involved.”

The more of ourselves that we put on the internet, whether through personal websites, page visit histories or what we type in emails, the more it seems that the ads popping up on pages we scroll through are aimed directly at us. It’s all very Orwellian. 

How we perceive and tolerate this dynamic — and internet tracking is, at this point, an immutable fact of digital life — may have more to do with our understanding of its purpose than, say, with the intent behind its use. Why is a particular company, or a fundraiser, or even a liberal arts college, employing tracking? What is it that they want and, more importantly, what is it that we, the public want?

In his article, Internet Tracking: It’s Not Creepy … It’s 2018, writer Sean Hill examines online tracking and retargeting, how its used, and how we feel about it. His answer: “It depends.”