eldavojohn writes "The New York Times is running an interesting piece analyzing the push by Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo & Google to develop ads that are yet even more personal. Ads might know what you're looking at or searching for and this better tailors them to your tastes but to 'enhance' your offers should they, say, also know your name? The piece asked the four giants about capability with the results, "Microsoft says it could use only a person's first name. AOL and Yahoo could use a full name but only on their sites, not the other sites on which they place ads. Google isn't sure; it probably could, but it doesn't know the names of most of its users." Now whether or not they would use this information is a different story — AOL has no plans to, Yahoo is open to it, Microsoft has a technological barrier preventing it (despite behavioral and demographic data being served to the ad companies) and although Google might use it, they don't nor do they use behavioral or demographic data."
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