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Google To Monitor Surfing Habits For Ad-Serving

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the do-you-see-what-i-see dept.

Google 219

superglaze (ZDNet UK) writes "Google is gearing up to launch cookie-based 'interest-based' advertising, which involves monitoring the user's passage across various WebSense partner sites. The idea is to have better-targeted advertising, which is not a million miles away from what Phorm is trying to do — the difference, it seems at first glance, is that Google is being relatively up-front about its intentions."

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I thought they'd been doing this for years (5, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149453)

Isn't that how Doubleclick made their fortune?

evil? (4, Insightful)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149455)

I don't get what is so evil about using cookies to determine what kind of advertisements you would be more interested in. I don't mind having ads more tailored to my interests.

Re:evil? (4, Insightful)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149517)

It's evil because it violates your privacy, and there's really no easy way to opt-out. Thankfully we at Slashdot are most likely gifted with the technological acumen to block these cookies...many others, however, won't. If I choose to browse porn while my kids/wife/whatever are asleep, I don't want Google keeping a record of that (and showing my kids a "targeted" advertisement for Hairy Hardcore Latinas Gone Loco 3.5). If it in any way gets into the wrong hands (or Google decides to switch their business strategy/privacy policy) then I could be seriously screwed if I decide to run for public office.

Re:evil? (1, Informative)

cgenman (325138) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149657)

Along these lines, never buy anything dirty from Amazon.com.

Umm... That's what someone told me.

Re:evil? (4, Funny)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149841)

Hahaha....actually I found that out the hard way. I bought something to...enhance...my relationship with a girlfriend (now an ex girlfriend). Every time I sign in I get suggested items for body chocolate, kama sutra tapes, and dildos that look like weapons.

Re:evil? (4, Informative)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150009)

You can tell amazon not to use an item you have already purchased to suggest other items.

Re:evil? (1)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 5 years ago | (#27151121)

You have to tell amazon not to use an item you have already purchased to suggest other items.

FYP

Re:evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150539)

Hahaha....actually I found that out the hard way. I bought something to...enhance...my relationship with a girlfriend (now an ex girlfriend). Every time I sign in I get suggested items for body chocolate, kama sutra tapes, and dildos that look like weapons.

I once klicked on an amazon-link a friend send me. It was just an espresso-mashine, but now I get Newsletters about cool new espresso machines or household stuff every f'ing day...

Re:evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150703)

You can purchase such things at Amazon!? Wow.

Re:evil? (-1, Flamebait)

Kokuyo (549451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149697)

You wait until your wife sleeps? Wow, I call that a healthy and open relationship.

Also, that running for office part... Do you honestly want to be in office in a country where your sexual preferences (as long as they are legal) can cost you the job?

The Clinton incident was a farce. If the American populace had one ounce of common sense, they'd have shoved the media hype down the boulevard press' throat.

Re:evil? (0, Offtopic)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149747)

If the American populace had one ounce of common sense...

HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA

Sorry...

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHAHAHAH!

You kill me.

Re:evil? (1)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149807)

I'm not married (and don't have kids). I was giving that as an example...and no, I don't want to be in a country where my sexual preferences will cost me a job. I also don't want to be put in a position where a company can track my online usage like that...

Re:evil? (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149815)

"Thankfully we at Slashdot are most likely gifted with the technological acumen to block these cookies...many others, however, won't."

I'm cookiemonster you insensitive clod!

Re:evil? (1)

Clarious (1177725) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150033)

Google Chrome (or some other browsers) has incognito mode for that purpose.

Re:evil? (1)

tritonman (998572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150089)

I don't think you have to worry about google showing porn ads when your kids are visiting disney.com

Re:evil? (4, Funny)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150173)

When they're doing a report on vegetation in China and they Google "Asian bushes" there might be an issue.

Reset your Google filter preferences (2, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150345)

Google does give you a preference ("SafeSearch") which you can set at three different levels. And yes, I understand that it probably fails sometimes. But I believe that can happen even if you didn't search for porn the previous night. Ergo, children's use of the net needs to be supervised in some way, IMO. (Appropriate to the parents' beliefs and the situation of the child, of course.)

Re:evil? (2, Funny)

Exitar (809068) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150339)

But I'm worried to see Disney ads while I'm watching p0rn!

Re:evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150219)

It's evil because it violates your privacy, and there's really no easy way to opt-out

According to Google [blogspot.com] , there are many easy ways to opt out. One is to click on the big "opt out" button on various [google.com] pages [google.com] they have set up exactly for this purpose and have mentioned in their announcement.

On top of this, they also designed a browser plugin [google.com] to do this for you.

Re:evil? (1)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150265)

TFA is all about Google giving you multiple ways to opt-out.

Re:evil? (2, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150277)

I don't want Google keeping a record of that (and showing my kids a "targeted" advertisement for Hairy Hardcore Latinas Gone Loco 3.5)

My first thought (modulo the "hairy" part), but I doubt that the makers of such entertainment advertise much.

I'd keep an open mind, personally. When I visit the Amazon site, for example, I receive plenty of targetted advertising. Some of it is useful (interesting new hardware), some of it absurd (recommending a book on Microsoft Server 2008 because I bought the Sendmail Bat book), but generally, I find Amazon's attempts to be both amusing and, oddly, welcome. Same goes for the emails they send me.

Face it, one of the biggest reason why most of us detest advertising is that it's wielded like a baseball bat. On TV, watching CBS' 60 Minutes invites a barrage of testimonials for geriatric pharmaceuticals (I'm not old!), a prime time show will attack me with ads for pickup trucks (I don't live on a farm), and the sponsors of most any sporting event insist their beer doesn't taste like piss and that I should drink it. Small wonder I stay away from commercial television where possible.

Mind you, there's plenty of legitimate reasons to hate advertising, but I think the non-targetted aspect is one of the biggest.

Re:evil? (1)

c0p0n (770852) | more than 5 years ago | (#27151105)

[..] and the sponsors of most any sporting event insist their american beer doesn't taste like piss [...]

There, fixed it for you.

Re:evil? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150343)

That's what separate accounts are for. Or virtual machines if you really want to separate things. Or browsers on your phone.

Re:evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150851)

If it in any way gets into the wrong hands (or Google decides to switch their business strategy/privacy policy) then I could be seriously screwed if I decide to run for public office.

So.. what's stopping you?

Re:evil? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150891)

> It's evil because it violates your privacy, and there's really no easy way to opt-out.

Of course there is. You can block all Google and DoubleClick cookies (search and news work fine with cookies blocked), or just stay away from Google altogether. Nothing requires you to use any Google services. You do so entirely for your own convenience.

Re:evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27149533)

Until late night surfing habits *wink* are used to tailor ads you may see during the day while at work...

Re:evil? (5, Insightful)

Onaga (1369777) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149583)

I would rather have tech and sci-fi books marketed to me when I go to Amazon. The big sale on may actually be the price tipping point for me to buy that. I don't really care about a big sale on that blue gem pendant necklace with 18k chain links. So yes, targeted marketing seems good.

The other side of the fence says, "ZOMG, there is a database with my surfing habits that can be accessed by the government and companies with money willing to pay for it." Some people may not care. Others think that this will allow Big Brother to build a fluff case against them. The middle group just thinks it is a private activity that should not be monitored by others.

I'm in more of the middle group. I have conversations with my wife all the time that are private. Nothing shameful or perverse, but just amicably intimate. I want them kept private, not indexed. I believe that is the heart of most of the objection.

Re:evil? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27149805)

I would rather have tech and sci-fi books marketed to me when I go to Amazon. The big sale on may actually be the price tipping point for me to buy that. I don't really care about a big sale on that blue gem pendant necklace with 18k chain links. So yes, targeted marketing seems good.

So with completely targeted ads, you never get to see anything in any other genre that you *might* be interested in, if they could pique your interest?

Sounds like always eating pizza because you like pizza ... gets boring after a couple of decades ...

Re:evil? (0)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150231)

I have absolutely no problem with targeted advertising as long as you can opt out (or better yet, opt-in).

The issue here is that you can't opt-out.

Re:evil? (1)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150291)

The article here is all about the cookie and non-cookie based ways you *can* opt-out

Re:evil? (0, Offtopic)

vishbar (862440) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150297)

You're right. I didn't RTFA...bye bye, Karma. :'(

Re:evil? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149819)

Advertising exists to manipulate you into making choices that you would not otherwise. If they are able to target ads at me, that just means they're better at manipulating me. I don't want that. You can show me all the monistat commercials you want, it's not going to affect me. Show me ads for something I want, and it will probably interfere with my decision making process. I'd rather do my own research and make my own decisions, and not be affected by manipulation.

Re:evil? (2, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150761)

Not all advertising is manipulation. For example, look at coupons for your local Cub Foods or Krogers in the newspaper. The coupons are basically the retailer notifying you that if you bring in the coupon, they will allow you to purchase a specific product for a reduced price.

The coupons are often for things you would not normally purchase, but with a reduced price the product may offer a better value and thus be worthy of your purchase. There is no manipulation involved in this case.

Another example are advertisements in the newspaper for car dealerships, offering one car for a low price. However, when you arrive at the dealership that car is "on a test drive" or "sold" but they push the malleable consumer into looking at or even purchasing another more expensive car. That is manipulation, because the consumer is baited to the dealership under false pretenses.

In my opinion, all advertisements that are designed to encourage an emotional response is manipulation because you are appealing to subjective emotions in what should be an objective purchasing decision. I don't mind targeted ads that show me things I may want to buy, if they provide an honest objective reason why I might want to buy the product.

Re:evil? (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149873)

And for those who do care:

1. Turn off cookies (or just whitelist them)
2. AdBlock Plus
3. ???
4. No Profit!

Re:evil? (1)

deep_creek (1001191) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149891)

Except when your wife keeps wondering why your computer gets nothing but porn ads whenever she borrows it!

Re:evil? (1)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150425)

Just make sure you have a ready explanation when your significant other peaks over your shoulder and asks why you have so many ads for ball-gags and jack-straps.

Re:evil? (1)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150827)

You say that now, but when your mom is standing behind you as you search for movie ticket show times, and the ads are all about "Big Heads In Deep Holes", you might think again...

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2006/10/18/ [penny-arcade.com]

Maybe not so bad. (5, Informative)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149491)

By visiting Google's ad-preferences page, the user can opt out of having their surfing habits tracked, or input their own preferences for the subject matter of ads they would like to see.

At least you can opt-out.

Add-on idea. (2, Interesting)

Samschnooks (1415697) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149607)

At least you can opt-out.

I set my browser to delete all cookies every time I close down. I guess that means I'd have to go to that page every time I'm on the internet to opt out.

That would be a great add-on. One that, upon Firefox startup, goes and opt-outs for you.

Re:Add-on idea. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27149637)

If you paid attention to the opt-out page google offers a plugin that does exactly this.

Re:Add-on idea. (1)

Keith_Beef (166050) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149789)

A plug-in? Surely not...

How about, Google stores a cookie with a value that says "don't track me with Google cookies"?

K

Re:Add-on idea. (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149937)

Yeah, but if you tell your browser to delete all cookies then it'll delete the Google cookie telling Google not to assign a tracking cookie to you so you'll be tracked by a Google cookie... unless you tell your browser to delete all your cookies... or tell Google not to track you... in which case they give you a non-tracking cookie... but if you delete cookies... then Google will track you... because it doesn't see the non-tracking cookie... which you delete so Google has to...

error... error... does not compute...

Re:Add-on idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150359)

Google tells you exactly that on the page, and offers a "make your opt-out permanent" plugin.
It's supposed to take care of Doubleclick as it is and as it will be, but it doesn't seem to work. I installed it and restarted Firefox, but when I read an article about the shooting in Germany, I saw ads for handguns and tours of Germany.

Re:Add-on idea. (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150019)

Most people are too lazy to opt either in OR out.

So for the advertisers opt-out is what they'll choose, and yet that's the quickest way to the black-list of anyone who has the knowledge to make that choice.

Re:Add-on idea. (1)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150579)

The only cookie that shows when I go online is the old DoubleClick optout one. Wonder if the slimey bastards still honor it?

Re:Add-on idea. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150963)

Why don't you just block DoubleClick cookies?

Re:Add-on idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27149913)

You actually have to download a plugin for it - explains how they can still have you opt out when you delete cookies. Seems weird to have a plugin, but it makes sense (you will need to download for both IE and FireFox - didnt try it in Opera or anything)

Re:Add-on idea. (2, Informative)

dfm3 (830843) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150125)

In Firefox, you can set an exception for a particular website. Just allow only the opt-out cookie to be stored when you close the browser. I have Firefox set up to delete all cookies except for those from particular websites which I don't want to have to log in to many times per day (such as Slashdot).

Re:Add-on idea. (1)

bitMonster (189384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150749)

I don't see how to do that in FF 3.0.7. Are you using an add-on?

Re:Add-on idea. (3, Informative)

Ninnle Labs, LLC (1486095) | more than 5 years ago | (#27151069)

No add-on it's in the same place it's been for ages. Go to Tools -> Options -> Privacy Tab -> Under the Cookies part click the exceptions button.

Re:Add-on idea. (1)

IAmGarethAdams (990037) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150331)

Isn't it great that the article tells you about an open-source plugin provided by Google that effectively performs that operation for you? Good job we all read it. No, I'm not new here.

Re:Add-on idea. (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150385)

I set my browser to delete all cookies every time I close down. I guess that means I'd have to go to that page every time I'm on the internet to opt out.

Why bother? You're deleting your cookies, they can't track you anyway.

Re:Maybe not so bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150141)

By visiting Google's ad-preferences page, the user can opt out of having their surfing habits tracked, or input their own preferences for the subject matter of ads they would like to see.

At least you can opt-out.

Or use your browser's incognito mode. Oh, sorry, Internet Explorer [what-is-what.com] doesn't have that? Sounds like a good time to move to Google Chrome!

Re:Maybe not so bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150547)

Firefox 3.1 has had Private Browsing since the first beta mode and Internet Explorer 8 starting with Beta 2 also has a such a mode dubbed "The Porn Mode".

Next time do some research before you open your mouth.

Re:Maybe not so bad. (1)

InsertWittyNameHere (1438813) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150333)

Opt-out here: http://www.google.com/privacy_ads.html [google.com]

But note:

Please note that if you use more than one type of browser or more than one computer to surf the Internet, you will have to opt out in each browser and on each computer that you use.

So how do they know it's YOU on all these different browsers\computers??

"Google is being... upfront about its intentions" (2, Funny)

MadDogX (1365487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149493)

But of course they are! Just like any good villain, they are telling us all about their evil plans right before they feed us to the sharks with frikkin lasers on their heads. If you ask me, this is absolute proof of Googles pure und utter fiendishness. We're doomed!

Re:"Google is being... upfront about its intention (2, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149569)

"Google, you fiend, do you really expect me to opt out?"
"No, Mr. MadDogX, I expect you to die."

Re:"Google is being... upfront about its intention (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27149911)

"Google, you fiend, do you really expect me to opt out?"
"No, Mr. MadDogX, I expect you to click on our ads."

FTFY

Re:"Google is being... upfront about its intention (1)

AlXtreme (223728) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150771)

"Google, you fiend, do you really expect me to opt out?"
        "No, Mr. MadDogX, I expect you to buy"

FTFY

FTFTFY

the difference? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27149577)

I thought the difference was that google is serving its own ads, phorm is replacing other companies' ads with its own.

my surfing habits are ridiculous (0)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149579)

LOL!!

That's going to be hilarious, if you know my surfing habits. :-)

But more serious, if possible, I'll be blocking this. I don't want anyone to know what I'm reading.

Re:my surfing habits are ridiculous (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149801)

LOL!!

That's going to be hilarious, if you know my surfing habits. :-)

But more serious, if possible, I'll be blocking this. I don't want anyone to know what I'm reading.

It's possible. And google has now crossed into evil territory (again) and will join doubleclick and ad20 and their dubious brood in my blocklist. Too bad, so sad.

Re:my surfing habits are ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27149995)

Google owns doubleclick now.

Not as bad as Phorm for one simple reason (4, Insightful)

vincanis (1496217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149635)

While potentially problematic, this behavior by Google does not rise to the level of Phorm for two simple reasons. First, rather than sitting with your ISP and tracking your browsing regardless of site, this technique will only apply to the (admittedly large) number of sites containing Google ads. Second, the release of a browser opt-out plugin is far beyond anything which would have been allowed for Phorm.

The remaining question for users is: Has someone yet developed a plugin to block google ads entirely? And if not, how long will it take now?

Not as bad as Phorm for TWO simple reasons (1)

vincanis (1496217) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149655)

Now if only I could count. Curse early mornings!

Re:Not as bad as Phorm for TWO simple reasons (3, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149977)

NO ONE expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Re:Not as bad as Phorm for one simple reason (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149703)

Re:Not as bad as Phorm for one simple reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150897)

Yes, CustomizeGoogle, check the options that are not on by default, and to be sure in hosts:

127.0.0.1 adwords.google.com
127.0.0.1 pagead.googlesyndication.com
127.0.0.1 pagead2.googlesyndication.com
127.0.0.1 adservices.google.com
127.0.0.1 googleadservices.com
127.0.0.1 www.googleadservices.com
127.0.0.1 gcc-08.googleadservices.com
127.0.0.1 apps5.oingo.com
# google urchintracker
127.0.0.1 www.google-analytics.com
127.0.0.1 ssl.google-analytics.com
127.0.0.1 urchin.com
127.0.0.1 www.urchin.com

I wonder why neither AdblockPlus nor CustomizeGoogle block text ads by default (in the latter it's the first checkbox). It would be ridiculously easy to do. I suspect a relation to the Mozilla-Google deal.

Re:Not as bad as Phorm for one simple reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27149947)

So, when google reads your email and monitors your browsing habits AND ties it to user identifiable information it is ok but when and ISP monitors your browsing habits and does not maintain personally identifiable information that is evil? Note, I can't speak how Phorm maintains information but a number of similar vendors go to great lengths to have no PII. This notion of the inherent goodness of google is absolutely amazing to me - the cloak of purity in which they have managed to wrap themselves rivals that of any cult leader I've heard of.

Re:Not as bad as Phorm for one simple reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27149983)

The remaining question for users is: Has someone yet developed a plugin to block google ads entirely? And if not, how long will it take now?

Ad-Block Plus [mozilla.org] . Assuming, of course, that you are using Firefox [what-is-what.com] .

Re:Not as bad as Phorm for one simple reason (1)

littlefoo (704485) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150105)

..and maybe the big differentiation is that Phorm intercept the data stream, hence much of the outcry in Europe, to find keywords of interest - whereas this is really only a monitor of users behaviour (sites and pages visited). Whether you like any monitoring at all is up to you, but they are radically different beasts.

Re:Not as bad as Phorm for one simple reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150227)

Has someone yet developed a plugin to block google ads entirely?

Need I even answer this: Adblock Plus

It's been around for a while. Welcome to the late 1900's and beyond.

Re:Not as bad as Phorm for one simple reason (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27151029)

> The remaining question for users is: Has someone yet developed a plugin to block google
> ads entirely?

Privoxy works for me. Blocks all ads, not just Google ones.

From the article... (1)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149653)

"The new ad-serving system works by downloading a DoubleClick cookie to the user's browser to track their path through various AdSense-using sites"

So, am I right in thinking that if I reject all DoubleClick cookies I'll render this system null and void? I have most of my cookies set to be session cookies anyway (as should most people, since 99.9999999% of all cookies are redundant), so I'm not actually sure how cookie based ad tracking would affect me in the long run?

Re:From the article... (5, Funny)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149925)

(as should most people, since 99.9999999% of all cookies are redundant)

There's a word in English, "most", appropriate for this situation. It's not necessary or helpful to invent obviously-made-up-numbers to illustrate "most". I doubt you have data to back up that only one in one billion cookies is useful.

Re:From the article... (2, Funny)

genner (694963) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150457)

(as should most people, since 99.9999999% of all cookies are redundant)

There's a word in English, "most", appropriate for this situation. It's not necessary or helpful to invent obviously-made-up-numbers to illustrate "most". I doubt you have data to back up that only one in one billion cookies is useful.

I agree 110 percent!

Re:From the article... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27151125)

> I doubt you have data to back up that only one in one billion cookies is useful.

I duuno. Considering that there are at least 100 million sites and many try to send me thousands of cookies...

Place your faith in AdBlockPlus and Filterset G (1)

MollyB (162595) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149701)

Having no faith in the integrity of Anything on the Web, I choose to block those ads since I won't be purchasing anything, anyway. I use NoScript as well, and don't hesitate to block Google from setting cookies, even though I use their search engine often. Call me a thief, I have no qualms.

Re:Place your faith in AdBlockPlus and Filterset G (3, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149991)

Having no faith in the integrity of Anything on the Web, I choose to block those ads

Where did you get AdBlock from?

Re:Place your faith in AdBlockPlus and Filterset G (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150299)

Who said anything about adblock? hosts-file or even better, empty DNS zone files work great.

I have Doubleclick, Google syndication something and several others blocked. Although I don't care much about ads, I only block the slow or annoying ones. E.g. when a site is slow, and Firefox' status bar shows "Waiting for (ad-site server) to respond" for long enough to read the domain, that's a sure way to end up blocked.

why is the only ad I ever see... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27149715)

why are the only ads I see either for

(1) the fleshlight

or

(2) adult friend finder?

Ad Blind Spot (1)

HetMes (1074585) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149739)

I'm convinced that I have developed a quite sophisticated online ad blind spot. I cannot remember ever having clicked on an add on purpose. As matter of fact, the only ad I can remember is the "how to lose your virginity" ad when googling "world of warcraft"

Google, statistics king, didn't already do this?! (2, Interesting)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149875)

This is one of the reasons I avoid Google; they know more about statistics than I do (and that's a lot!) ... they have that motto don't be evil for exactly this reason; too much information coming from too many sources, including your personal information, means they can know you better than you know yourself, and thus they can manipulate you to their agenda and the agenda of their advertisers.

Think of it like the "gateway drug" concept; they advertise something you might have bought (but might not have bought) and that puts you over the edge and you buy it. Then they push something similar and you buy it for the same reason. After several iterations, you find yourself buying things you would never otherwise have had interest in. Your friends and family are supposed to have this power. Not a corporation whose first goal is appeasing their bottom line and therefore their customer corporations (whose first goal is selling merchandise to appease their own bottom lines).

To anybody outraged at things like the government accessing your library book list, this is the same thing. Except even if you opt out, Google just got that better at targeting you with ads.

Re:Google, statistics king, didn't already do this (2, Interesting)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150293)

This is one of the reasons I avoid Google;

So, I assume you also avoid purchasing things with your credit card? Or with any kind of club card? Or interacting with any company that sells any of their business records to third parties (like, for example, car dealerships)? Or generally interacting with the civilized world?

Look, here's the deal: the privacy genie was out of the bottle long before Google was ever conceived of. Companies like Axciom and Experian already know, and have known for decades, what demo you're in, what products you buy, whether or not you have a lease on your car that's about to expire, and probably a million other things I haven't even thought of. In short: they already know you better than you know yourself. So who really cares about Google, honestly?

Oh, and as an aside, with things like social networking out there, even if you try to disengage from the rest of the world, your friends and family probably haven't, and right now, they're posting pictures about you, writing stories about you, and generally divulging things about you that you probably wish they wouldn't. So, if I were you, I'd find yourself a nice cabin in the woods and hide out there, because frankly, I don't see that you have any other option.

they advertise something you might have bought (but might not have bought) and that puts you over the edge and you buy it. Then they push something similar and you buy it for the same reason. After several iterations, you find yourself buying things you would never otherwise have had interest in.

Oooh, I see the problem. You don't actually have an independently functioning brain. Instead, apparently your brain is a slave to the whims of whatever advertisement happens to be presented to you.

So, nevermind. In fact, ignore this post entirely. It probably just confused you.

Re:Google, statistics king, didn't already do this (3, Informative)

Khopesh (112447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150977)

So, I assume you also avoid purchasing things with your credit card? Or with any kind of club card? Or interacting with any company that sells any of their business records to third parties (like, for example, car dealerships)? Or generally interacting with the civilized world?

Yes, I avoid such things. My credit card is for emergencies and rare online purchases (though sometimes I use Simon Gift Cards for anonymity except for the whole delivery address thing). I opt out of information sharing when given the option (this is usually a legally required option). What's wrong with cash? When they ask you for address or zip information in the store, you can always say "no thanks."

Look, here's the deal: the privacy genie was out of the bottle long before Google was ever conceived of. Companies like Axciom and Experian already know, and have known for decades, what demo you're in, what products you buy, whether or not you have a lease on your car that's about to expire, and probably a million other things I haven't even thought of. In short: they already know you better than you know yourself. So who really cares about Google, honestly?

I disagree. Corporations have been collecting data, but at a snail's pace, and largely on far less sophisticated equipment. This limits the relational and learning algorithms that are economically feasible. Even today, few corporations have the penetration and computing power (and engineering prowess) to collect that volume of data and pull off massive statistical crunching like Google. Also, those other corporations don't read your email, monitor what you read on a word-for-word basis, or tap your television (youtube) and phone (gtalk). Google does. The internet is instantaneous and all-encompassing, whereas mail-order, phone order, and physical shopping doesn't give anywhere near the same level of detail, and the little detail it yields is very slow-flowing.

Oh, and as an aside, with things like social networking out there, even if you try to disengage from the rest of the world, your friends and family probably haven't, and right now, they're posting pictures about you, writing stories about you, and generally divulging things about you that you probably wish they wouldn't. So, if I were you, I'd find yourself a nice cabin in the woods and hide out there, because frankly, I don't see that you have any other option.

My friends and family have been respectfully asked not to post photos of me. So far, this has worked (for the most part). I don't have an account on centralized blog sites like livejournal, and while I do have accounts on slashdot and even facebook, they don't say too much about me personally. I understand that we're losing our privacy, but I want to control how that happens and limit its damage, specifically as it pertains to how I am targeted through advertising. Your friends must be jerks if you think like that.

You don't actually have an independently functioning brain. Instead, apparently your brain is a slave to the whims of whatever advertisement happens to be presented to you.

So, nevermind. In fact, ignore this post entirely. It probably just confused you.

Oh, good. Now we're throwing around insults. Recall how I said I know a thing or two about statistics. I also know about brand-building and marketing in general. I date a psychology PhD. Let's just say that nobody's brain functions independently; we are all biased by our environments. If you like, I can obtain a dozen peer-reviewed papers that present compelling evidence to that fact. Just consider: why do companies advertise? why do those advertisements often do nothing but say the company name? The answer is that they are building a brand, which equates to trust.

Re:Google, statistics king, didn't already do this (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#27151167)

I disagree. Corporations have been collecting data, but at a snail's pace, and largely on far less sophisticated equipment.

Wow, you really have no idea. Look, I've seen the Experian categories. The level of granularity in their data is staggering. And a little disturbing. Trust me, they know more about you than you ever realized.

Even today, few corporations have the penetration and computing power (and engineering prowess) to collect that volume of data and pull off massive statistical crunching like Google.

ROFL! Guys like Experian have been doing this for *decades*. Google are mere babes in the area of data crunching when it comes to those guys.

Go do a little research. You might find yourself surprised.

I understand that we're losing our privacy, but I want to control how that happens and limit its damage, specifically as it pertains to how I am targeted through advertising. Your friends must be jerks if you think like that.

Not at all. They just don't have the same values you or I do. Me, I'm a little jealous about my privacy (although clearly not as... err... protective as you). But many people I know will become "friends" with complete strangers on Facebook. They'll post pictures and details about their lives that I'd never even consider. Unfortunately, that sometimes means divulging information about *me*... and once it's out there, it's too late to take it back.

If you like, I can obtain a dozen peer-reviewed papers that present compelling evidence to that fact. Just consider: why do companies advertise? why do those advertisements often do nothing but say the company name? The answer is that they are building a brand, which equates to trust.

And that does *not* equate to "buying things you would never otherwise have had interest in". *That* is brainwashing, and is a far, far cry from brand building. Now, if you can find a peer reviewed journal that demonstrates that advertising can induce someone to buy something they "never otherwise have had interest in", I'll be very impressed. I'm sure the advertisers would be, as well.

Virus infected (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149907)

Good, now when I get infected by a virus, Google will keep selling me Viagra and penis enlarger for the next two years. :)

Really? Is it too much to ask? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27149919)

Because I really don't want my kids to see what kind of ads my viewing habits produce.

Sign me up please (3, Insightful)

Jaqenn (996058) | more than 5 years ago | (#27149979)

Perhaps I undervalue my security and privacy, but I keep hoping for an increase in the targeted advertising I experience.

I don't want to refinance my house. I don't want to find relationships online. I don't want to find old classmates. I don't want to earn money by signing up for free trials. Even though I don't want these things, I see these ads a lot.

I like videogames and boardgames. I like anime. I like paintball. I like cooking. I already go out of my way to learn about new products and discounts in these areas.

I would love to surrender information about my interests in order to replace the ads I don't care about with ads that I do care about.

Google != Phorm (4, Informative)

Dynamoo (527749) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150039)

There are several key differences between Google and Phorm. Google will use a cookie-based system to track you as you visit sites with the relevant Google Ads. Phorm take the data directly out of your clickstream.

You can easily opt-out or block Google ads. You cannot do this with Phorm as it will still monitor your clickstream regardless of whether you have opted out or not.

Google is a per-user based system. Because you are tracked by cookie, it will serve ads based on YOUR cookie ID only (or maybe your Google account, whatever). Phorm tracks by IP address, so if you share an IP address via NAT (most people do) then it cannot easily distinguish between users. This leads to the possibility that inappropriate ads may be served up (porn, pharma etc).

In any case, what Google is suggesting is not new and basically has been around in one way or another since the dawn of internet advertising. What Phorm is trying to do *is* new and is almost the same as monitoring systems such as the sort of thing ECHELON does (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ECHELON [wikipedia.org] ).

I toss my cookies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150059)

I don't know about the rest of you but I toss my cookies at the end of every session.

I also change IP addresses, computers, and web browsers.

So good luck tracking me.

Uh oh, cheaters watch out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27150087)

Google tracks your interests. If you share a computer with your significant other and look up motel rooms and restaurants, etc. even though you never go there with your SO, you may be in trouble. "Honey, why is Google showing me ads for motels?"

Even the faithful husbands should use another search engine to look for gifts. You don't want Google to ruin the surprise for your wife.

Singles may want to be on the lookout when googling on their girlfriends' computers shows ads for wedding dresses or baby accessories.

Absolute power... (2, Interesting)

ghostis (165022) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150133)

At some point, if not already, Google will realize how much power they have. In my experience, companies eventually act primarily in their own interests. I think Google will choose more and more to use that power for their benefit, rather than the benefit of their customers. "Do no evil" indicates they knew their potential power from day one. At this point, if they wanted to "do evil," it would be hard to stop them.

-Ghostis

From the Phorm website (1)

kaizendojo (956951) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150591)

We've been able to challenge the status quo by designing and building a system that understands what people want -- without ever knowing who they are or where they've been.

So essentially, they give you what you want by telling you that it's what you want?

I think that puts them in direct competition with the US Government, no?

Not at all like Phorm (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27150711)

> By visiting Google's ad-preferences page, the user can opt out of having their surfing
> habits tracked...

The user can also opt out of having their surfing habits tracked by blocking Google and DoubleClick cookies.

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