p2pnet news | Advertising:- Consumer-centric behavioral targeting.
Cool buzz-phrase. But what it means is: online advertisers are hot to ‘target’ you.
That wouldn’t be a problem if they didn’t weasel information on you for re-sale, or for use in their campaigns.
Phorm and Google have, possibly, the highest profiles when it comes to finding ways to gather data so they can profile you in detail to the exclusive benefit of the advertisers.
They usually try to dress it up as ‘ improving services to consumers’. But they’re by no means alone.
Facebook used the same excuse and came seriously unstuck after trying to spy on users with a tracking system called Beacon.
Then last month, “it was made public that Charter was working with NebuAd to track its users browsing habits to provide more accurate targeted advertising, a move that brings about significant privacy concerns,” says PC World.
“After pressure from Public Knowledge and Free Press, two digital rights groups, Charter suspended its pilot program with NebuAd, but that isn’t the end of this tale.”
NebuAd says it’s, “transforming the online advertising industry with the first consumer-centric behavioral targeting network”.
Through “unique technology” and, “ISP partnerships,” it, “combines web-wide consumer visibility with micro-targeted ads delivered at the right time in the buying cycle,” it says, going on:
“This network-level approach enables behavioral targeting to finally attain its true promise of a greater scale of impressions, and greater relevance to drive increased revenue per impression.”
NebuAd works by installing a hardware device inside an ISP network and, “Each device can monitor up to 50,000 users,” says the Wikipedia.
“Users can opt-out, however the opt-out uses a cookie stored on the users computer, which will be lost if the user regularly deletes cookies from their computer.
“Because ISPs route all of their customers’ traffic, they are able to monitor web-browsing habits using Deep packet inspection (DPI) in a very detailed way allowing them to gain information about their customers’ interests, which can be used by companies specializing in targeted advertising.”
Opt out? Does that mean you’re automatically included unless you specifically remove yourself —- if you even know you’ve been ‘opted in’ in the first place, can figure out how to opt out?
That’s the size of it.
But product promoters in the 21st century aren’t the first to use advertising unscrupulously.
The pic on the upper right is an ad from the Virginia Gazette, Friday, October 15, to Friday, October 22, 1736.
It reads >>>
Williamsburg, October 22, 1736. RAN away, about the middle of August last, from Roy’s Warehouse, in Caroline County, Two new Negro men, of a middle Stature; one of them of a yellow Complexion, with a Scar on the Top of his Head. The other a black Fellow; and they took with them several Linen Cloths, and Cotton Frocks, without Sleeves, which they had when I bought them. Whoever takes up the said Slaves and brings them to the above-mentioned Warehouse, shall have Two Pistoles Reward, besides what the Law directs, paid by Peyton Smith.
It’s on professor Thomas Costa’s Virginia Runaways Project site.
Meanwhile, “Although a large Internet service provider has backed away from technology that tracks subscribers’ Web use in order to deliver personalized advertising, two other broadband companies said Wednesday they are still considering whether to deploy it,” says the Washington Times.
“Phone companies Embarq Corp. and CenturyTel Inc. have both completed trials of NebuAd surfer tracking system, “and are now considering whether to proceed,” it says.
In short, not only does Big Brother want to watch your every move online, so do his cousins in the advertising world.
And they’re only just starting.
Meanwhile, the Wikipedia has a really good post on the ins and outs of advertising.
. .Stumble It!
highest profiles – Google: after you with AdPlanner, June 24, 2008
seriously unstuck – Blockbuster sued over Facebook Beacon, April 17, 2008
PC World – More ISPs in Privacy Hot Seat Over Deals with NebuAD, June 26, 2008
Deep packet inspection – Phorm and DPI: Alex Hanff, May 20, 2008
Washington Times – ISPs still considering tracking Web use, June 25, 2008
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