[Wolves] AdSense 'Interest Based' advertising
fish at politicalpenguin.org.uk
Fri Mar 13 23:56:32 UTC 2009
> Ironically, I dont mind the adverts, I very much object to the tracking
> and targetting though. I've installed adblockplus which blocks the
> adverts very well but will it prevent the tracking/targetting or just
> remove the result?
This is a bit of a tricky area because in encompasses a variety of
approaches that are all combined together.
Just for reference, I did a lot of work, if you're aware of the system,
that from Phorm which attempted and still is attempting something
similar with it's tie-up with BT and potentially other unspecified ISP's
in establishing a profiled targeted advertising system.
The big difference between the two is that with Phorm the point at which
the information is gathered is at the ISP level by (cutting things short
on the technical side) inserting a classic man in the middle approach
and intercepting data. You can take your pick as to what is ethical but
whereas the Phorm approach is in my opinion completely unethical the
Google approach has at least the excuse that Google provide some very
useful services and all they are doing is monetarising them.
I don't use Google Ads on any of my sites so it would be interesting to
know what they are asking web designers to do but we are dealing with
the classic cookie based system which inherently has its flaws about who
it targets as in it's not individual but machine based and potentially
all the privacy issues surrounding that, not to mention the whole
concept of opt-in vs opt-out but cutting to the bare bones of it, if you
want to steer clear of this system as an end user you will have to
undertake a few things.
Manage your cookies. They've not said or at least I haven't caught up on
whether it will be something like you have the opt-out cookie or you
simply don't accept their tracking cookie but either way you'll have to
manage that dependent on how it works out.
The second is that this system tries to marry up the way in which what
you search for displays Google ads which is nothing new because they've
been doing that for ages so you either 1, use another search engine or
two use something like Scroogle which removes your IP address. (yes I do
know this isn't necessarily about IP addresses as it's a browsr specific
cookie system but tying the two together isn't exactly hard)
Then, because Google utilise information gathered from multiple sites
who use their analytics package you need to cut off that information to
them. That's easily done by restricting Java which presuming you use
Firefox is a snip by installing NoScript and only allowing things that
you want running.
There's a fair few other things to consider but that's a good basis on
how to avoid such things. Of course the obvious is as a web user and
website owner in a commercial context is that if you don't like what a
company is doing is to stop using their stuff. Sooner or later they get
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