Behavioral "uh-oh" feeling / by Nate Westheimer

After visiting some credit report sites today (I had to dispute something, which I won), I was more than a little weirded out to see a LifeLock banner ad on CNN. I could be totally wrong here, as I have no idea if CNN is running behavioral ads or not, but considering I've been on CNN's Political Ticker blog a dozen times a day for the last month and never seen a LifeLock ad before the day I was on credit report websites, my privacy comfort-zone radar went nuts, assuming I had just been "behavioraled."

So this is what a behavioral ad feels like?

Getting served what felt like a behavioral ad gave me the "uh-oh" feeling you're supposed to tell a trusted adult (or blog audience) about.

Now, the question remains: was the "uh-oh" of the Facebook's News Feeds variety (i.e. quickly accepted after an initial push-back)? Or, was the "uh-oh" more like a Facebook Beacon issue (where publishers will have to revert back to more arcane targeting methodologies)?

The answer to this question is important. Esther Dyson wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal on Monday evangelizing the coming of the social and behavioral ad, but if publishers and targeting companies can't get the comfort factor right, the technologies may never come to their full potential.