A false diet with targeted advertising

2 min
Tags: diet targeted advertising data collection weight program weight loss sensitive data data hunters facebook Google

Many are unaware of the extent to which the entire food industry uses our data when it comes to targeted advertising and unhealthy eating. Companies that sell special diet programs, among others, are also targeting this. For example, they use online tests to attract the user. With the help of such online tests, personal and particularly sensitive data are collected. This also includes data on one's own mental health. The big question now is what will happen to this collected data.

The data collection and disclosure to third parties

The unpleasant part of this situation, however, is that the user does not even know what is being done with their data. Most often, specific questions are asked about one's medical history or mental health. Since the same program is always advertised and sold anyway, the question arises as to why this sensitive data is collected in the first place. Most of them can be expected to actively collect and pass on this sensitive personal data. This has been proven by analyses. Others, however, simply make this sensitive data available to third parties in order to profit from it.

More appearance than substance

Ads on the web or in social media have become part of everyday life. Accordingly, programs for weight loss are often offered. These are mostly secret tricks or magical weight loss powders. Unfortunately, people who suffer from eating disorders also often become victims of this advertising. During the Corona pandemic, this situation worsened. Many children who suffer from an eating disorder are now also affected. Facebook has now switched to disallow so-called before-and-after images when it comes to expected or improbable results. It's the same with corresponding apps that are supposed to support fasting. However, dubious weight loss supplements are still frequently advertised. Certain products are not shown at all on Instagram and are banned. Social media is therefore trying to prevent advertisers and companies from reaching people with eating disorders.

Google and Facebook as data hunters in the background

Anyone who takes a closer look at diet advertising usually has to create a so-called profile of their own body and their own eating habits. The promise is that a perfectly tailored diet program will be created to specifically meet one's needs and lose weight.

Health test as an excuse

Supposedly, the goal should be the best diet with the help of specialized companies and so-called online tests. However, such tests collect much more data than just information about one's body type. Target weight, current weight, height, age and other details are requested. Advertisers promise that the target weight will be reached within a very short time with the corresponding product. However, users can always assume that this data will be passed on to third parties. These include Facebook and Google.

Therefore, one should never fall for such current fad ads. It is advertised with the perfect body and easy weight loss, but paid with sensitive data. That's why consumer organizations are sounding the alarm. However, because so many people are obsessed with having a thin body, it seems to be a real downward spiral in the future as well. It's not about implementing the best diet, it's about collecting data.