Xbox Live political advertisement targeting leverages user data

Brittany A. Roston - Mar 7, 2014
Xbox Live political advertisement targeting leverages user data

Microsoft is using its users’ data to target political ads to its roster of gamers, the Washington Post has reported. The company wants targeted ads on multiple of its services, including Xbox Live and MSN, and uses Xbox user information to create profiles on its huge array of gamers.

At the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, a big political event more commonly called CPAC, Microsoft handed out promo items detailing the method, trying to encourage politicians to leverage its services as part of their political campaigns. The advertisements, among other digital locations, would show up on the Xbox Live dashboard.

Profiles of Microsoft users are assembled using things like information that has been made public and user IDs to construct an idea about each user — all information that could help politicians target their desired demographics, doing so based on things like location, gender, marital status, and more.

Taking this a step further, interested political campaigns could utilize rosters of voter email addresses to match up with Microsoft’s users, further narrowing down voters based on targeted information — so-called microtargeting, something not all voters are comfortable with.

SOURCE: The Washington Post

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