Media Release: The Australian Ad Observatory uncovering the hidden world of targeted advertising

The Australian Ad Observatory project conducted at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) is working to understand the hidden world of advertising by asking volunteers to donate their Facebook ads.

Professor Daniel Angus, one of the Chief Investigators on the project, says the problem with online advertising is that it is hidden from public view, and so it may break the rules that have been put in place to prevent consumer harm, without being noticed.

“We are seeing ads that have been able to slip through the net because humans aren’t involved in making judgements,” he says.

“The concern there is that if these ads can slip through the net, what other forms of advertising are also making their way through that, that maybe perhaps in violation of existing codes and practices?”

Over the past year more than 2,000 volunteers have donated their ads to the Australian Ad Observatory.

This research benefits our understanding of platform-based advertising and is enabling independent research into the role that algorithmically targeted advertising plays in society. Read more here.