Monday, May 29, 2017

WeatherUnderground Is Selling WHAT???

So there I am, innocently checking the forecast for today on wunderground, when what to my wondering eyes does appear?  BOOBS!  BREASTS!  HOOTERS!  (etc... etc..)  YES!  What has happened???  I wanted to know if our local lake would have weather agreeable to walking along the beach this afternoon and, while my primary goal was achieved, I also experienced an eyeful.

The advertisement on their page was not selling pornography, please don't think that; this advertisement was selling clothing.  Specifically, high-end blouses that are quite see-through!  I'm not a prude by any means, but is this a website that should include this sort of advertisement?

Deep in their Terms Of Service, there are references to 'Network Advertising Initiative" and "behavioral advertising" and the "Digital Advertising Alliance."  My reading of their many pages on privacy and data collection and cookies brought my fuzzy mind to one conclusion: they don't care much and leave it up to the users to either accept it, use some sort of tool to opt-out of certain advertisement programs, use an ad-blocker or use another weather website.

Honestly, there is NO reason any advertising algorithm would accurately believe I might be interested in seeing overpriced see-through blouses.

Is this a matter of corporate greed or desperation for a few more pennies of advertising income?  Is this a failure of AI and/or "behavioral advertising" code?  What worries me about this is, what if a precocious five year old used his mom's computer to check the weather and saw...  BOOBS???  At least PG-13 boobs.  When I was a kid, these might even verge on the edge of a "Rated R" evaluation.

Continue reading for screen shots.  Fair warning...  these are likely not safe for work.