talking point

targeted ads require personal data

This is not true.

An argument used by companies who have built businesses around using personal data to power digital advertising as a justification for this increasingly controversial practice.

It is not true that targeting advertising requires companies to collect people's personal data.

It is possible to make the Internet work just like real life. In real life, if someone opens Vogue, they get ads about high-end fashion. If they open Golf Magazine, they get ads about golf. These ads are targeted based on the person's interests; they are not randomly placed. But each person who opens Vogue will get the same ads, regardless of their gender, race or sexuality. That is not the case with ads served through Google and Facebook's advertising systems.

This type of content-dependent advertising that does not use people's personal data is called "contextual advertising" and DuckDuckGo has shown that it is profitable.