“Thunderstorms” and “Curly Fries” - you're smart

What we share and reveal about ourselves, either consciously through social media or through our browsing habits all contributes to our digital fingerprint – a fingerprint that is then used to categorise us into ‘buckets’ for targeting of marketing activity.
How this fingerprint is constructed is always under scrutiny – with a balance of user privacy and the needs of the publisher to generate revenue from their content in constant tension.
Recently the announcements from Mozilla around 3rd party cookies has refocused people on this topic and how the necessary profiling of people to deliver relevant messages needs to move on from the current methods.
Better use of ‘public’ data to infer gender, brand preference and age is one area of opportunity – but really what can you infer from this freely available information – quite a lot it would seem.
Recent research from the University of Cambridge and Microsoft using Facebook ‘likes’ has been able to correlate ‘likes’ to attributes such as political and sexual orientation, as well as intellect and gender.
Using data from 58,000 volunteers who provided their Facebook Likes, detailed demographic profiles, and the results of several psychometric tests to build models analysts were able predict with high probability which ‘buckets’.
For example, users who “liked” Thunderstorms and Curly fries were predicted to be of higher intelligence than those who showed affinity towards Harley Davidson and Sephora.
On its own it’s application is limited, however if used in combination with others methods of tracking, such as context / semantics and device finger-printing may actually offer a more robust solution (over cookies) to the whole challenge of delivering relevant marketing to users.

research : here

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