Re: I've a fix for the whole lot
uBlock Origin, AdBlock Plus, AdGuard... deploy at least one of these and don't look back. If we all refuse to watch adverts without compromises, the problem goes away.
Sure. Logic alone would have stopped people voting for Trump, right?
The problem is simple, and exists in three parts:
1 - there are a Godawful amount of people around whose online behaviour ranges from innocent to utterly stupid. The former we can continue to educate, the latter are beyond that, and combined they form the audience for targeted advertising.
2 - advertising to these people makes a stonking amount of money, and companies will go over bodies to keep that going. Maybe I'm biased, but I see this is a feature of mainly US companies where everything, including even the most basic ethics, is sacrificed for the almighty buck.
3 - it is highly unlikely that these outfits do not have an espionage arm which keeps them nicely into government funding as well and gives them legal leeway in how they operate. We've known this since the days of Microsoft being accidentally too clear in tagging their software (who, by the way, is still at it).
With respect to point 3, it is worth noting that we have found a sharp uptick in attempts to buy EU based security companies by investment outfits that on deeper investigation emerge to be of US origin or have strong US connections. Buying such companies would expose them to US law, in other words, it would backdoor EU security for US use.
Anyway, I digress. I see this as mild panic from the likes of Google: they see efforts to block their privacy invasions gaining more and more success, and even their backdooring of mainly WP websites with Google fonts to keep at least some sort of intelligence is slowly being noticed (by the way, Adobe is at that too with TypeKit, and we know how seriously Adobe takes security..).
Add Apple who has no need for personal details as their hardware business is doing just fine without it, thank you, and is now using privacy as an active element of sale and they have a problem.
Hence FLoC and all the other crappy efforts to bypass what are in essence our article 12 rights since 1948, naturally without violating such rights for the owners of such outfits. That's also behind Google's efforts to make you pay not to get interrupted every minute by ads on Youtube: preserving the flood of money.
IMHO, the board of every company convicted for privacy violations should be doxxed as part of the punishment. Financial fines have no impact, they are merely considered the cost of doing business.
What could help is tarnishing the companies that BUY those services, because that's where the money is coming from. Google has been smart here because there's now a vast eco system of people who have no other employment than generating content to get a tiny slice of that income, but all of these would work just as well without the targeting - or target the ads based on the content, which leaves the user's privacy in place. Just thinking out loud here.