Ad tracking: Is anything being done?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by ronjor, Apr 2, 2014.

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  1. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  2. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    Good read. I honestly dont think much can be done until tracking protection becomes a national law.
     
  3. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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    The article laid out similar points to what I've been saying in another thread; except in a more precise and clear manner. It helps to have direct quotes from the people involved.

    Anyway, the crux of the problem can be summed up as...

    a) My way or the highway
    b) No compromise.
    c) No co-operation
    d) My requirements (privacy vs economic) are more important than yours

    Dumb as hell.

    1. Advertising on the web isn't going anywhere soon. The problem is with the implementation. Acknowledge the problem. Not eradicate what is economically sustainable.

    2. The advertising industry needs to take a step back. They have gone too far. Ads don't need to be behavioral targeted to be effective.

    3. Privacy advocates need to understand that killing ads isn't an optimal solution on a global scale. You only solve 1 part of the equation.
     
  4. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    Give someone a PVR, and they will skip the ads, and you can't blame "privacy advocates" for this. Just face it, people don't like ads, privacy concerns just add to the dislike. Remove privacy concerns, and the dislike will still be there.
     
  5. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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    1. I didn't mention anything about users liking ads.

    I was referring to the economic aspect.

    Privacy advocates often call for ads to die and clearly disregard the economic impact.

    E.g. You do realize that Linux Mint (the OS you use), Distrowatch and Chromium gets its fund from advertising revenue?

    Please don't mention the word 'donate'. Donation model
    doesn't work.

    2. Your view of advertising is too narrow. You are used to seeing it as 'commercial' in a negative light.

    Ever seen marketing done by the likes of Samsung and Apple? They use brand-building and emotional advertising. Believe it or not, there are people who like their ads. People who buy their products because the ads were effective in differentiating the products from the competition.

    Ever read product reviews on tech blogs?
    That's informational advertising; mostly non-commisioned.

    Ever look up the newspaper, brochure, leaflet and saw a deal
    or bargain in the supermarket?
    That's print
    advertising.

    Do you even realize that word of mouth is a form of advertising? People actually participate and like them.

    As to your argument about people disliking advertising, it is because the ads shown suck in quality and has no relevance to the user/viewer. It doesn't offer an incentive for the viewer to look at or watch it. YouTube in-video ads are a prime example of that.

    But not all advertising is about annoy ing the **** out of users. It's all about perception. If you can create a relation and provide relevance to the content or interest, the ad becomes a source of information and a form of recommendation.

    It's like an Android blog having ads of HTC One vs ads of "hot women near your area".

    Big difference.

    I can go on but I doubt I would be able to change your mind.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  6. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i use Ghostery which i used in the past to block everything.
    this morning, i decided to allow advertisements and block the rest.

    bandwidth and servers are not free.
    i used to run a website years ago and it cost me about 100$ a year for hosting.
    it was just a hobby.
    if by any chance it would have gotten very popular i probably would have had to shut it down for lack of money, unless i had something for sale.
    putting adds on it would not have even crossed my mind.

    personally, i don't really care for adds.
    in 20 years of web surfing, i probably can count on one hand the number of times i clicked on adds.

    but i'd rather let adds through than seeing some of my favourite websites die for lack of money.
     
  7. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    Correction: "I can go on but I doubt I would be able to change people's mind." You make it sound like I am special. I think I am just like most people.

    Edit: By the way, about your "Privacy advocates often call for ads to die". It looks like a typical straw man to me. Sources?
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  8. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    Do you remember the time...
    • When you could order something from a company, make a donation to a charity, or give your contact information to an organization for some other specific purpose without having to worry about them selling, sharing, or otherwise using your information for secondary, inappropriate purposes?
    • When you didn't have to post No Soliciting! signs in your neighborhood and shoo those who ignored them away?
    • When you could answer the phone with confidence that it was someone you wanted to get a call from, rather than human telemarketers or a pre-recorded sales pitch or robodialers that frequently disconnect the moment you pick up due to no agents being available?
    • When you could check your mailbox and not find it overflowing with direct marketing that you didn't ask for?
    • When you could return to your car and not have to remove fliers from it?
    • When you could return to your home and not have to remove ads attached to the door?
    • When you could watch TV with moderate advertising at reasonable volume levels, or watch the ad-free cable TV you paid for without using a box that collects your viewing information for advertising and other purposes?
    • When you could use the Internet without be inundated with advertising, much of it intrusive in multiple ways, nearly all of it revolving around tracking/profiling users, and much of that involving secondary sharing/selling of collected information?
    • When you could share information with your doctor, or have a facility do a test, without finding in the fine print that you are allowing them to share information with corporations for commercial purposes unrelated to your treatment?
    • When you could purchase sale items without having to use loyalty cards that are used to track your purchases and feed into [often, third party] advertising systems and datamining operations?
    • When Operating Systems, software programs, and software repositories weren't explicitly designed to collect information about you and/or what you do?
    • When you could allow someone to take your picture without having to worry about their device automatically uploading pictures to a cloud company that applies facial/object recognition to extract information for its databases?
    • When you could walk into a store or down the street without being subject to facial recognition based tracking if not advertising?
    • When commercial companies across virtually all industries weren't, en masse, engaged in an absolutely staggering grab of data via almost every technical means... collecting massive amounts of information about individuals for advertising and other individualized purposes *and* extensively datamining it to acquire the power and advantages that come with such a comprehensive view of societal patterns?
    • When you didn't have to worry about governments, too, selling your health information or tax information or whatever to advertising and other companies?
    How much does it take before one learns and accepts they are up against a relentless force that simply will not stop?

    I can understand some wanting to capitulate. We are, in fact, losing the war... at an increasing rate due to the technology multiplier. DESPITE many attempts at meaningful regulation and DESPITE many instances of compromise. The small "victory" here and there did not change the trend though. The force simply shape-shifts around those and continues to pursue its objectives. It continues to feed and grow stronger.

    I remember all of those times above and others. In fact, at a young age I realized that for the rest of my life this type of force would be present, hound me and everyone else, and we'd be highly unlikely to stop it. I knew I would be participating in a losing battle, or rather, war. Yet, I chose to do so and continue to do so because the alternative was worse: I'd have to face myself in the mirror each day, knowing I did not fight against this.
     
  9. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    @safeguy One question about sites hosting adds being paid. Do those sites get money if visitors only see an add or do they have to click on it?
    In first situation you can add exceptions to your adblock program/extension for your favorite websites and that way support them. Though I still don't know how add hosting platform can know if their adds got blocked or have been seen by visitors.
    In second situation adblocking doesn't hurt site's revenue as I don't click on adds. To support those sites it would be better to disable adblocking from time to time, then click few times on those adds. Closing browser and deleting coockies after each click...

    hqsec
     
  10. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i'd like to know the answer to that one as well...
     
  11. Veeshush

    Veeshush Registered Member

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    I think people wouldn't use Adblock as much if it weren't for shady ads imitating download links, which is why I have to include it every time I have to clean up a PC for someone. Some sites I'd rather just donate to, but I don't think everyone could donate to every single site they frequent every month either. Some sites can have enough users donating that they get by, but such sites usually have to practically beg every month to meet cost.

    But sites DuckDuckGo and StartPage show that it can be done in a bit better way:
    https://support.startpage.com/index...mation-about-your-companys-profits-and-income
    http://donttrack.us/

    It's not impossible to do things a bit better.

    I believe they get a lot more money if you click on it rather than just "viewing it". That's the way Youtube partnership ads work too.
     
  12. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i did a little research and it seems you are correct.
    wikipedia entry about this subject:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_advertising#Compensation_Methods

    so it seems adds generate revenues at least 3 different ways:
    cost per click, cost per impression or view and cost per action (when you actually buy something).
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2014
  13. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Almost without exception, ads occur for me very much like the nam-shub in Snow Crash ;)

    The ads in They Live also come to mind, and of course <> from Illuminati ;)
     
  14. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    interesting article here about ads blockers and their impact on the economic ecosystem of the internet:
    http://www.computerworld.com/s/arti...tion_or_a_problem_?taxonomyId=71&pageNumber=1

    i have decided to not use add blockers anymore.
    No Ghostery or NoScript, nothing.

    ask yourself folks, if you had a website and it became popular and you had 2 choices:
    * close the site because the website bandwidth would be too expensive or
    * put adds on the website.

    what would YOU do?

    if i had 2 choices to support a site which would be:
    * donation
    * let adds through

    i will gladly let the ads though.
    no way i would give donations to all my favourites websites.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  15. mattdocs12345

    mattdocs12345 Registered Member

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    I wouldn't mind having ads that are limited to one per page and at the top of the page without any kind of blinking and tracking.
    But the ad industry has gone too far and they gotta loose as much income as possible so they step back a little. I install ABP on everybody's browser. ​
     
  16. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I'd throttle connections as much as necessary to limit bandwidth to what I could afford. And I'd add a welcome screen, explaining that and offering at least two options for unthrottled access. One option would be registration and payment via PayPal, Bitcoins, etc. The other would be temporary access on a per-session basis, payable via Bitcoin or another such e-currency.

    Popularity is not worth so much if nobody's willing to pay.
     
  17. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    That's a great article :)

    But there are some disconnects that I just don't get.

    There's an acknowledgement:
    But not far above that there's this statement:
    Although I haven't made any careful measurements, it often seems that ads account for most of total page size. Also, it's obvious from load status messages that negotiations involved in serving ads can substantially delay page loading.

    Why would an advertiser think that I'd like them after they wasted my bandwidth and time waiting for their ad? And why would they want ads that waste even more of potential customers' bandwidth and time? That's become an especially painful issue as flat-rate mobile bandwidth plans have been disappearing, no?
     
  18. Nebulus

    Nebulus Registered Member

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    The owner of the site has every right to put ads on the site. But I also have every right to block the ads if I don't want to see them. This is no different than in the TV world; a TV station has every right to show advertising in order to get money and I have every right to change the TV set to another program when this happens. It is true that an ad blocker is automatic compared to a remote control, but the idea is roughly the same.

    From the Computerworld article:
    Really? I invite their site to ask for payment to view their content and then let's see how many users will actually pay.

    I hope this current model disappears as quickly as possible. And for this purpose ad-blockers are definitely a great solution.
     
  19. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    of course, I don't think no one disputes that.
    that's not the point I was discussing.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  20. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    The Wind Bringeth .. good post. Even though I believe its going to get a whole lot worse, I still fight this losing battle everyday.

    Thats like saying, I'll give with one hand and take back with the other..... Its not really free if it has strings attached. By its nature, that which is truly free is not "part of a deal".
     
  21. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    I don't buy this "implicit contract" argument. In a contract, all of the terms and conditions are explicit, there are mechanisms for recourse, and so on. There's none of that with ad-funded web-hosting. Trading site views for behavioral tracking is not such a good deal. For someone researching health problems, tracking data might increase the cost of health or life insurance, or perhaps lose them a job offer.

    I'd much rather just pay for content and services, transparently, and at prices that are explicit and fair. The current system is unnecessarily inefficient, in that it supports a large, parasitic advertising ecosystem. Given payment systems with very low transaction costs, such as Bitcoins and descendants, sites can readily charge per page view. Some newspaper sites are already doing that. And with blogs and forums, payments could go both ways, at rates determined by popularity.
     
  22. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    given the choice between letting ads trough and another monthly bill I will gladly go with the ads.
    more bills is something I don't need.
    I can see this paywall system easily costing me 5-10$ per month if it's ever implemented on a global scale. :thumbd:

    if I have to pay for every website I surf through I would probably limit my surfing as I go to a lot of different sites.
     
  23. gorhill

    gorhill Developer

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    Yeah it's a completely self-serving argument. Unfortunate that some people buy into it. The logical consequence of such an argument is a complete absurdity: users should also stare at the ads for a minimum amount of time -- or else why download these ads in the first place? If they think there is a contract users are breaking, then they should sue them, otherwise this is just silly attempts at manipulation.
     
  24. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    How did you arrive at that estimate?

    Fair paywall prices would be what sites earn per page view. From < http://www.hochmanconsultants.com/articles/je-hochman-benchmark.shtml >, I get these "Average PPC Costs" for 2010-2013:
    Code:
    Metric                    2010    2011    2012    2013
    Cost per click (CPC)      $1.24   $1.04   $0.84   $0.92
    Click through rate (CTR)  0.7%    0.4%    0.5%    0.5%
    Average Ad Position       3.7     3.0     2.6     2.1
    Cost per mille (CPM)      $8.55   $3.97   $4.03   $4.70
    Conversion rate           6.8%    5.3%    3.4%    8.8%
    Cost per conversion       $13.14  $19.74  $24.40  $10.44
    Invalid click rate        6.7%    10.9%   8.0%    8.3%
    Cost per view must be the product of CPC and CTR, right?
    Code:
    Metric         2010    2011    2012    2013    2011-13
    Cost per view  $0.0087 $0.0042 $0.0042 $0.0046 $0.0043
    For five ads per page, the 2011-2013 average implies $0.021 per page view.

    What are reasonable estimates for total page views per month?
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
  25. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    so are you saying it would/should cost me an average of 2 cents per page to view any given web page?
    that's way too much.
    at that rate i'd go bankrupt pretty soon.
    thanks, but i'll take the ads any day over that. lol ;)

    the only website I would be willing to give money to is Wikipedia.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
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