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Would you prefer a free service that uses advertising based on:

Interests you periodically select during a survey sent out every few months/once a year

Or

Interests the service's organization infers based on your usage of the service?

Imagine the company provides a service similar to Google or Amazon. The survey is a barrier to entry in this situation.

Follow up question:

Imagine this were a service like Facebook or Twitter. Same two questions

Would you prefer a free service that uses advertising based on:

Interests you periodically select during a survey sent out every few months/once a year

Or

Interests the service's organization infers based on your usage of the service?

@brandon I choose survey. I believe some services follow this procedure. Correct me if I am wrong but I think Pinterest and Medium does the same where you choose the topics you want to follow at sign up.

Most probably they still collect data based on the usage in the same time.

@brandon
There's another option you didn't mention (well 2 others if you count not using the service at all):

Do it like TV, newspapers, magazines have always done. Serve generic ads, not targeted at a specific person. Sure, they can analyze patterns and assume that a certain type of person watches a certain show or reads a certain mag, and tailor ads that way. But /not/ by knowing personal info about each specific viewer.

@leadore Ding ding ding! We have a winner. This is exactly what DuckDuckGo does

@brandon none, i would like to pay a monthly fee instead

@mntmn brandon@fosstodon.org
This is a good option, but of course you have to reveal your identity to do that, so it depends on who it is whether you want to.

Also they might still serve you ads even if you pay. (for example I subscribe to a newspaper and it still has ads. I use an ad-blocker, but it's still irritating since it can cause certain pages to not work right).

@leadore No, it's possible to pay money without revealing your identity. You have to have an *account*, but not an actual identity.

@yojimbo If I understand you correctly, there is one or a few businesses that have set things up to get your payment without tracking your identity. But most businesses don't do that, so in most cases my comment still applies.

@brandon
I guess that depends on the type of service. A questionnaire only is best for privacy but less reliable on accuracy. I'll chose that one

@brandon I'm happy with and their search time keywords. If I search "dog" it will show me pet ads but only during the search. Next time I come back and search for "girls girls girls" its not going to show me pet ads

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@brandon
I'd pick random answers in a survey, and block the advertising. And use such service as little as possible.

@AMDmi3 Them having inaccurate info about you that they think is accurate is just as bad, and could be worse in some cases. You don't know who they're selling it to and if it's someone who can use it against you.
@brandon

Makes sense, at least partially. However having plausible assumption of who they do sell data to, answers may be crafted to your benefit. Questions themselves should give a generic idea. Say, I'd pick that I'm absolutely not into tobacco, alcohol and any extreme sports, assuming they sell data to insurance companies.
@leadore
@brandon

@AMDmi3 @brandon That'd be a good way to handle a survey you're forced to take; I just wouldn't like being put in that position.

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