I had the opportunity to meet an advertising and marketing professional this past week. Much of the work that this professional worked with is in the field of online ads. This person informed me that although much of the work that their company works with is on the more 'ethical' side of advertising, the major players such as Google, track and use you in ways that I didn't even realize were possible. One way that really made me very uncomfortable was that Google will take search terms that you had searched for recently and push ads to people that you are with or will likely be with very soon (by tracking all of your devices and associating you as friends or contacts, and anticipating your behavior). The purpose is that your friends may see an ad, bring it up in a soon to occur conversation, and you, who have unknowingly started this conversation, will jump into talking about this service/product that you have already searched for because of a thought or need you may have had. In the end, your search has bled over to your associates to try to sell a new product or service to them, and also, their conversation with you will possibly reinforce your thought, making you more likely to purchase said product or service. Pure genius or pure evil?