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Privacy in targeted advertising: A survey

by   Imdad Ullah, et al.

Targeted advertising has transformed the marketing trend for any business by creating new opportunities for advertisers to reach prospective customers by delivering them personalised ads using an infrastructure of a variety of intermediary entities and technologies. The advertising and analytics companies collect, aggregate, process and trade a rich amount of user's personal data, which has prompted serious privacy concerns among individuals and organisations. This article presents a detailed survey of privacy risks including the information flow between advertising platform and ad/analytics networks, the profiling process, the advertising sources and criteria, the measurement analysis of targeted advertising based on user's interests and profiling context and ads delivery process in both in-app and in-browser targeted ads. We provide detailed discussion of challenges in preserving user privacy that includes privacy threats posed by the advertising and analytics companies, how private information is extracted and exchanged among various advertising entities, privacy threats from third-party tracking, re-identification of private information and associated privacy risks, in addition to, overview data and tracking sharing technologies. Following, we present various techniques for preserving user privacy and a comprehensive analysis of various proposals founded on those techniques and compare them based on the underlying architectures, the privacy mechanisms and the deployment scenarios. Finally we discuss some potential research challenges and open research issues.


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