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Coming Soon, Web Ads Tailored To Your Zip+4

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the knows-when-you're-awake dept.

Privacy 185

On the heels of Apple's intention to collect and sell detailed location data comes word that Juniper is putting together technology that will allow any ISP to present you to advertisers by your Zip+4. An anonymous reader sends this snip from Wired: "Your Internet service provider knows where you live, and soon, it will have a way to sell your zip code to advertisers so they can target ads by neighborhood. If your local pizza joint wants to find you, they will have a new way to do that. National advertisers will be able to market directly to neighborhoods with like characteristics across the whole country using demographic data they've been gathering for decades. ... Juniper Networks, which sells routers to ISPs, plans to start selling them add-on technology from digital marketer Feeva that affixes a tag inside the HTTP header, consisting of each user's 'zip+4' — a nine-digit zipcode that offers more accuracy than five-digit codes. Juniper hopes to sell the software to ISPs starting this summer, having announced a partnership with Feeva earlier this year."

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Why not? (3, Insightful)

haqrboi (1263144) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663524)

They're going to show us ads no matter what, at least this gives a chance they might be a little more relevant.

Re:Why not? (3, Funny)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663576)

Yeah!

I'm tired of getting those ads in the lower right hand corner of those girls that say, "I'm hot for you!" or "I'm ready to have sex." only to see that they're several towns over. I want the sluts in my local area!

Re:Why not? (4, Funny)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664440)

Ah, you beat me to it.

It's amusing to see how Adult Friend Finder and similar services compute your city based on IP address. There's a small hamlet about 50 miles from where I live called Tunnel [google.com] . I think a grand total of 50 people live there. If the AFF ads are any indication it would seem that 49 of them are extremely attractive women who are looking for a good time. It's my dream to move there one of these days.... ;)

Re:Why not? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663578)

a little more relevant

I might not have a problem with that, but my town is small enough that my zip+4 uniquely identifies my family's PO box.

Re:Why not? (2, Informative)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663726)

I might not have a problem with that, but my town is small enough that my zip+4 uniquely identifies my family's PO box.

That's true of nearly any PO Box. At the same time, narrowing it down to a single PO Box really does nothing to help them since your 'location' is wherever the post office is located, which they could have figured out from the regular 5 digit zip code.

Re:Why not? (1)

cdoggyd (1118901) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663798)

ZIP+4 identifies individual mail drops - house, apartment, PO Box, etc. Has PRIZM been doing this for years already?

Re:Why not? (5, Informative)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664286)

Not quite. Zip+4 narrows it down to no more than 100 possibilities, but you need to know the delivery point [wikipedia.org] to get the exact address. The USPS represents every single deliverable address in the country with an eleven digit number. Five digits of zip code, four digits of +4 extension and two digits of delivery point. You can find your delivery point code by using the USPS zip code finder [usps.com] and clicking on "mailing industry information".

There are a few exceptions to this rule of course. Most PO boxes have a unique zip+4 code, so the delivery point is redundant for them.

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663984)

Revealing your PO Box to advertisers would be a big problem, but as far as I know, most ISPs keep your street address on record. Without it, they'd have a hard time providing service to your home.

Re:Why not? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664500)

I might not have a problem with that, but my town is small enough that my zip+4 uniquely identifies my family's PO box.

Who cares? Isn't the whole point of having a PO box to keep people from determining where you live?

I have a PO box but also receive mail at home. The only people who have the home address are friends and family. The PO box gets all of my bills and most shipments from internet outfits. I'll freely give the PO box out to anyone who asks. Doesn't bother me if they send me garbage -- it gets tossed into the recycling bin right there in the post office lobby. I look upon it as an economic stimulus for the post office ;)

Re:Why not? (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663616)

Why should we be giving up on privacy for the benefit of marketing companies? If I need to find local business, I look at a directory of local businesses, so what do I gain by having advertisements thrown in my face?

Re:Why not? (0, Redundant)

haqrboi (1263144) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663672)

If they're going to show you _more_ ads than before, I can see your problem. If they're just going to show you the same amount of ads, but with more local (and possibly relevant) content, I don't see much of a problem.

Re:Why not? (1)

TheOtherChimeraTwin (697085) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664094)

The problem with seeing more ads that are targeted to you is that advertising works. Yes, it even works on you. That means we'll be buying more junk we don't really need but is appealing to us. I'd rather have ads that have nothing to do with me - at work our internet connection is routed through another state and I see ads for "local" businesses.

Re:Why not? (2, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663728)

They will not stop pushing. They will not stop moving forward until we all start pushing back.

I push back as much as I can. Adblock+NoScript is only the beginning but a damned good start. But that's just what individuals can do and most will not. So in addition to that, people have to start complaining to law makers and government agencies about it. I mean sure, you can identify people responsible for the excessive advertising and place roadkill on their doorstep with a note about "stop flooding me with advertising" but I seriously doubt they will care or stop. Advertisers and marketers feel entitled to do the most they can do. In fact, their jobs depend on a "growth metric" so if they are not pushing that line forward and even holding steady, they will get fired. It's an ugly business dumping its ugliness all over us. They simply don't know what respectful means.

Re:Why not? (2, Interesting)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664012)

place road-kill on their doorstep with a note about "stop flooding me with advertising"

...and then place two the next day with a sign saying "SPECIAL TWO-FOR-ONE OFFER!"

Re:Why not? (5, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664102)

As a letter:

"Dear Business Owner,

I noticed that you have started to advertise through my ISPs Zip+4 locality based advertising system. Unfortunately, I believe that this system is intrusive and an infringement not only on my right to privacy and anonymity, but also encroaches on the data allowance I pay for which is already prohibitively capped by my ISP.

Thanks to the government allowing the ISP a monopoly of the "last mile" of the connection, I cannot switch my ISP to one not offering this intrusive advertising scheme. I can, however, refuse to offer my business to those who make use of it.

Sincerely,

A lost customer."

But, you don't have privacy... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32664112)

I'm sorry that you feel that you actually have privacy in this digital age, but personally, and most of the world, would actually rather have things targeted at them with actual relevancy. People hate having to find things on their own.

I will admit that the ZIP+4 scheme seems a little too personal, a ZIP code should have been the most required since they all live in the same area, ZIP codes are relatively small chunks of areas.
Even ZIPs might be too personal since most areas in general aren't built around self-contained mini-cities, most areas are built using the old stupid methods of town / city centers, industrial sector, business (new-ish), house and farming on the outskirts, etc

But that isn't really the main point, the main point is you already never had any privacy when you decided to stay connected to society, live with it or leave society.
Hell, go start your own society where you all have 100% privacy. Enjoy your mess. We already tried that thousands of times over the past few thousand years.
And if you think this sort of stuff will work on the scale of the human race now, you are clueless.
Anyone smart enough is welcome to drop everything and go live outside of society, it isn't that hard, people vanish off the "radar" all the time to get away from society for whatever reasons they had, mainly to start over because of bills. Policing systems aren't expected to keep up with the numbers of people who suddenly vanish because of a few bills left unpaid, it isn't worth the resources.
And considering this is in America, you guys have loads of space you can go to.

Data is the most valuable thing in this society, it helps make predictions, it helps with crime, it helps with countless other things. But most of all, it helps keep a society moderately stable. Without it, it would literally be chaos.

I'm likely to end up moderated as a troll due to my opinion, sadly, due to people abusing it because "strong" opinions are obviously trolling on the internets, right?
But the simple fact remains that if you live in the walls of society, you are expected to make sacrifices in freedoms and privacy in order to keep it stable.

Also, don't label all advertisers and marketers under one blanket label please.
Some companies are actually decent and just want to help people find the things they want.
You mentioned one of them already, the local directories of businesses in your area.

Who is talking about 100% privacy? (2, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664250)

"Hell, go start your own society where you all have 100% privacy."

Nobody expects us to have total privacy -- no such society has ever existed. However, there are certainly people who would prefer the other extreme: no privacy at all. We are no longer talking about necessary sacrifices of privacy, we are talking about excessive and deliberate efforts to erode any privacy at all.

"Also, don't label all advertisers and marketers under one blanket label please.
Some companies are actually decent and just want to help people find the things they want.
You mentioned one of them already, the local directories of businesses in your area."

Sorry about that, but it is becoming increasingly rare to see marketing companies that are satisfied with traditional approaches to helping people find what they are looking for. True, a local directory is a marketing effort of sorts, and when run by a business that business is certainly a marketing company.

Re:But, you don't have privacy... (1)

grggry (1840332) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664370)

This year it is expected that online marketing that targets local consumers like Yodle or adneedle is going to increase 31% in the market place. Whether ISPs sell zips +4 or not you are already tracked just by traffic alone.

Re:Why not? (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664352)

Why should we be giving up on privacy for the benefit of marketing companies?

Wrong question. You don't have a say in this. The right question is :"Why should private companies give up the chance to make extra money for the benefit of your privacy?".

The only real answer is: "Regulation."

Re:Why not? (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663664)

Why not?

Because, presumably, you'd not opt in? As far as I know, if any company want to send you electronic adverts, you have to have opted in first - possibly when you signed the contract - or you must certainly be presented with the chance to opt out. At least that is how it works in UK, where this sort of scheme will no doubt be introduced too.

Re:Why not? (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663692)

Really? You're given an opt-in / opt-out on every webpage you visit? I think not...

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32664122)

It's called "not going to that website".

Re:Why not? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663760)

You want to give people advertising p0rn your actual address?

Re:Why not? (3, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663866)

We are going to block ads no matter what, so why do we care how relevant they are?

Feeva! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663532)

I've got a Feeva fo yo data!

We've long ago slipped down that slope (2, Insightful)

jamesh (87723) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663534)

Almost every web page I visit seems to know where I live down to the town or suburb. I think we slipped down this slope a long time ago.

IPv6 might wipe that database clean effectively, but it won't take long to repopulate.

This is worse (5, Insightful)

AltairDusk (1757788) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663562)

I for one am not happy about my ISP who I pay to provide me with internet access and who I expect to protect my privacy doling out my information to advertisers. Advertisers figuring it out with the help of third parties is one thing, I can't hold the ISP responsible for that but this is simply unacceptable.

Re:This is worse (2, Interesting)

dziban303 (540095) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663748)

I seem to have a big problem with telemarketers. A big problem, like 10-15 calls a day. I changed my phone number and relaxed in the week of silence. Then I had to update my Cox billing information, and they got the new number. Not even two hours later, the telemarketers started calling again.

My point is, your ISP has (probably) been selling you down the river since you signed up, as has pretty much everyone else you've given personal information to. Magazine subscriptions, any number of websites, your bank, utilities...nothing new here.

Re:This is worse (2, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664354)

Then I had to update my Cox billing information, and they got the new number.

You didn't have to give them your phone number, you decided to give them your phone number. Whose fault is that? AFAIK there's no law requiring you to provide the cable company with an accurate phone number. They might get pissed off if you don't but who cares? They won't terminate your service over the issue.

I can count on one hand how many outfits have my phone number and physical address. I even managed to get NYS to print my PO Box on my drivers license so I don't have to worry about every idiot that I buy beer from knowing where I live. This has caused me some grief at various times (TSA drones insist on seeing a physical address to let you board even though the passport is an acceptable form of ID and contains no address, figure that one out....) but I regard that as a fair trade in exchange for the privacy benefits.

Re:This is worse (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664058)

Actually "unacceptable"? I mean, I take it you are now in the process of cancelling this service...right?

Finally, some relevant ads (5, Funny)

Jurily (900488) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663538)

Too bad I use Adblock.

Re:Finally, some trololololo (1)

lul_wat (1623489) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663654)

Too bad I don't have an iPhone. Oh wait that's a good thing.

Re:Finally, some trololololo (0)

Jurily (900488) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663766)


if (post.contains("Apple")) {
        post_crap();
        return;
}
read_full_summary();
notice_the_phrase("any ISP");
think_about_it();
return;

Awesome (5, Funny)

NoZart (961808) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663542)

So the fake hot lesbians who want to hump me are now directly on my block? BRB, ringing on random doors holding a printout of some adult friend finder banner....

Re:Awesome (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664216)

I predict two things:

- A black eye by the fourth house.
- A sense of severe disappointment regarding the aesthetics of your neighbours.

Dear Vendors, Stop breaking the Internet (4, Insightful)

Fortunato_NC (736786) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663548)

Seriously, guys. You already f'ed up DNS beyond recognition, now you want to break http, too? Someone at Juniper needs to kick the marketers out of the engineering department.

Re:Dear Vendors, Stop breaking the Internet (2)

digitalaudiorock (1130835) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663832)

Seriously...they're essentially putting your home address in the http headers. This can't possibly be legal can it??

HTTPS ... (2, Interesting)

Skapare (16644) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663550)

... FTW. Let's see them munge the headers with that.

Re:HTTPS ... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663708)

Coming soon to an ISP near you: personal certificate authority files, required to access any and all HTTPS sites through that ISP!
 
(... and then we just DoS the man-in-the-middle server until it is a molten heap)

Re:HTTPS ... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32664188)

So they just add it to the TLS handshake...
See TLS Extensions [ietf.org] .

Extended hello format:

struct {
                    ProtocolVersion client_version;
                    Random random;
                    SessionID session_id;
                    CipherSuite cipher_suites;
                    CompressionMethod compression_methods;
                    Extension client_hello_extension_list;
            } ClientHello;

They can put whatever they want in there without corrupting the handshake.
(Though, I may be wrong, any TLS geeks care to comment?)

SSL (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663554)

Even more reason to use SSL for every site. Not like I needed another.

Re:SSL (4, Informative)

Lachlan Hunt (1021263) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663676)

SSL won't help guard against this at all. If you visit a site that embeds an advertisement, the ad provider still obtains your IP address, and they can still query participating ISPs for the postal code of the user at that address.

Re:SSL (2, Informative)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663712)

That's very different than getting that information, "for free", with every request for an ad image. Adding the latency to query the ISP for the information before returning the ad would make the image load too slowly, and adding the API traffic would be pretty expensive in terms of open socket connections.

Re:SSL (1)

eth1 (94901) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664004)

And its not like you can use SSL with a site that doesn't support it. And the decisions to support SSL and whether make use of the tech to serve ads would both be made by the site.

Even sites that do use SSL might not for the ad content (at the risk of making those "some content not encrypted" warnings pop up constantly)

Re:SSL (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663688)

Should be easy if browser-developers play ball and get rid of the stupid warning when a certificate is self-signed...

Re:SSL (1)

dhTardis (1326285) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664536)

I can't tell if you're being ironic or not. But if you are serious, then know that an ISP that's willing to stoop to this level would have a field day with this: they just have to intercept your connection, present you a self-signed certificate for whatever domain you tried to contact, and then they can do whatever they want (among which the least-harmful might be adding your ZIP+4 to the headers). It is malfeasance like this that the PKI is designed to prevent! (Separate topic: how trustworthy are the CAs?)

No (2, Insightful)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663556)

I do not want this. Go away with your ever more intrusive advertising. GO AWAY!

Re:No (1)

alphax45 (675119) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663634)

Use AdBlock

Re:No (1)

Disstress (928999) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663754)

use TOR, problem solved

Re:No (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663950)

Better targeted != more intrusive.

In fact, better targeted may mean *less* intrusive, as you would theoretically see higher conversion rates, and so less need to blast people in the face in order to get their attention.

Re:No (1)

dhTardis (1326285) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664556)

so less need to blast people in the face in order to get their attention.

But if blasting people in the face improves returns now (which it must, since advertisers keep doing it), why would it stop improving returns later? The only that that would help is if people paid enough attention even to subtle ads so that the annoyance of the blasting would outweigh the added eyeballs. Are ZIP+4s going to do that?

Re:No (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664254)

Go away with your ever more intrusive advertising. GO AWAY!

I think you misunderstand how the market works. If you don't like the service which you are purchasing, then you are the one who can go away. Either find another ISP or move to a country with decent broadband coverage and find another one there.

Hello slashdot (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663558)

I live in the lameoid disctrict of stupidville, USA. Please keep me in formed of the latest specials at Frank's 99 cent store and literary salon. Also, among pizzas I prefer erotic pizzas priced under $5. RATS RATS RATS RATS RATS EATING MY FACE!!!!!! NO!

Location isn't as useful as buying history (1)

stokessd (89903) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663584)

Aside from the fact that this is already being done (maybe not to zip+4 level). Ads for things where I live aren't as relevant to me as ads from my purchasing and surfing history. The restaurants around where I live suck, I have to drive a bit of a distance to get to the few local things I find useful. So in that regard, pure location info isn't going to be a particularly good hit for me. If advertisers knew my shopping patterns, they'd do a lot better job, and it's just a matter of time until they do.

Sheldon

Tor plus some similar tech. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663586)

Really, I guess a technical way around this is to use Tor. And for everyone to have a Tor exit node. Screw the corporations and their fucking advertising!

Re:Tor plus some similar tech. (3, Insightful)

BiggerIsBetter (682164) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663724)

Really, I guess a technical way around this is to use Tor. And for everyone to have a Tor exit node. Screw the corporations and their fucking advertising!

I agree in principle, but when advertisers piss the technical public off so much that we actually hate kiddie porn less, only then you'll see the uptake of Tor and FreeNet.

Re:Tor plus some similar tech. (1)

goodtrick (1201109) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664228)

hmm so in other words we will never see the uptake of tor and freenet

Re:Tor plus some similar tech. (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663856)

I don't think tor will help you much.

The packets have to pass through the ISP routers on the way to anywhere.
They will modify the header of all requests, even those through tor.

Maybe an updated tor node could strip that header info out, but that would depend on at least one tor node in your chain having the right update.

Re:Tor plus some similar tech. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32664126)

That's not how Tor works.

Seriously, I can't figure out how people like you ever learned to breathe, much less post on the interwebs.

Re:Tor plus some similar tech. (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664554)

They will modify the header of all requests, even those through tor.

That would be most impressive since tor encrypts all of it's traffic right up to the exit node......

Well, crap like that does not fly with me (4, Interesting)

bleh-of-the-huns (17740) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663592)

While I may or may not be able to block said targeted advertising, I can guaranty that I will explicitly boycott any companies that use such services like this to target me. I do the same thing with telemarketers and those people who leave door tags on my door. If I want something, I will go find it.

If you have to have advertising... (1)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663636)

If you have to have advertising, why not have advertising that is relevant?

Re:If you have to have advertising... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663758)

Why have advertising in the first place? The internet is nigh on impossible to use anymore because of all the dancing and shouting fruit-salad coloring in the back and, worse, foreground.

Now, I'm more than capable to avoid this disaster myself, but how do normal people cope with this? They must be going mad-raving stark bonkers...

Re:If you have to have advertising... (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663918)

Why have advertising in the first place?

Because we don't live in a fantasy world, and understand that advertising will *always* exist, particularly if people continue to insist on free-to-access content.

Make no mistake. The internet as you see it today, with free sites like Slashdot, Freshmeat, Penny Arcade, and so forth, not to mention services like gmail, are possible only because advertising make it financially feasible to offer that content. The only alternative is to lock things up behind paywalls, and let's face it, *most* people aren't interesting in paying for subscriptions, no matter how high quality the content is.

Re:If you have to have advertising... (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664174)

That's why I don't block ads for sites like Slashdot. In general, I keep adblock up all the time, but turn it off for certain sites. And Slashdot is even giving me the option to turn off advertising (probably because I only troll half the time). I don't take that option, because well, I like free things and I know advertising helps keep it that way.

Other than their associated stores, I don't know how websites could keep themselves afloat. Bandwidth costs are still too high for most sites to exist on handouts.

Re:If you have to have advertising... (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664398)

I tend to agree with you on this point. While I don't like the ISP narrowing down my location by zip+4 in particular, more relevant ads would actually be a good thing for several reasons.

1. Targeted ads cost more than broadcast ads, so less are needed to achieve $x income. This makes having a website more viable with less ads. If your favorite website is covered in too many ads, go to some other website instead.

2. Ads that are relevant might actually interest me. If my local Dominos is having a $9 Large with any toppings special (they are, as a matter of fact) then I just might like to know. Same for other regional businesses.

3. Showing me ads for chain stores only in the Northeast doesn't help me or them. Most ads don't appeal to me, but ads for a company that isn't even driving distance (brick and mortar) is stupid.

4. Brick and mortar companies will be better able to actually advertise now. There was no reason for a regional chain (say 12 states) to advertise if most of their ads were going to areas they don't serve. Now even small businesses that serve 4 or 5 zip codes can cost effectively advertise. Ads = sales = jobs. Google and Yahoo ads let you only serve to US or other countries, but their methods for localizing it further don't exist. This will increase the number of companies advertising, which helps small website owners, and increases the potential number of specialized sites.

We can all bitch and moan about ads, but they pay the bills here at /., and lots of websites that I LIKE. I still click ads from time to time on those websites, even if I'm not in the market for the item, just to look, and help pay the bills. Ads *can* be done properly, and this might be a step in the right direction.

As for privacy, there really isn't any on the web unless you take extraordinary steps. The websites already know your IP address, which can be traced to general region pretty easy. If you really need privacy, don't depend on your ISP to provide it.

PEACE THE FUCK OUT YOU NIGGERS (0, Troll)

TrollBurger (575126) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663620)

I hope to never see you again.

Easily blocked by techies? (3, Interesting)

rainmayun (842754) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663698)

This should be easily handled with a browser plugin.

For those of you saying "browse more with SSL", this is primarily going to benefit site owners with more targeted ads, who will know it doesn't work with SSL.

For those of you saying "use Adblock", that won't stop site owners from using this information for other purposes. Some sites will already have this information, particularly if you do e-commerce with them. But others may not. Do you really want midgetporn.com to know where you live?

Re:Easily blocked by techies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663904)

Do you really want midgetporn.com to know where you live?

If it means hot midget chicks will show up on my doorstep then You Betcha!

Re:Easily blocked by techies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32664132)

Do you really want midgetporn.com to know where you live?

I'm prepared for this contingency. This is why my apartment is on the second floor.

re: Just go away (4, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663700)

You can yell all you want for the advertisers to "just go away", but the problem is, the collective "we" that use the Internet DEMANDED that monster, with our insistence on free services everywhere.

I don't like the ad banners a bit, but I also realize I'm grown used to the idea of visiting my choice of tech or news sites without paying monthly subscription fees. I use several free email sites, and I've got a places that host my photo collections for free and keep backups of 2GB or so of my files for free. I've got some (again free) software on my iPad that lets me send and receive unlimited SMS messages over it, using a new local phone number they assigned me. Google is willing to assign me yet another free local phone number to handle voice mail services for me, au gratis. Need a quick translation of some text from one language to another, or maybe just a conversion between units of measure? Free sites out there give you those features too. Plenty of other message forums let you share info on your favorite hobby or cheat codes and walkthroughs for your favorite games. The list goes on and on. Do you REALLY think all these things should just be done out the kindess of people's hearts, despite the ongoing expense of hosting them?

That's the way it was. (4, Insightful)

professorguy (1108737) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663768)

I've been on the internet since 1984. Back then, there was all kinds of discussion and many, many 'services' and info. And guess how it all got there? Why, what do you know? It was done out of the kindness of people's hearts.

Then about 1988, the marketers showed up. It's been downhill ever since.

So can humans do things for each other just to be nice? Yes, as long as those humans don't include marketing assholes.

Re:That's the way it was. (-1, Troll)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663988)

I've been on the internet since 1984. Back then, there was all kinds of discussion and many, many 'services' and info. And guess how it all got there? Why, what do you know? It was done out of the kindness of people's hearts.

Right, sure, because you can deploy a massive service like gmail to millions and millions of people out of the "kindness of people's hearts".

Seriously, dude, get out of your mom's fucking basement and learn to live in the real world. Spending hundreds of millions of dollars building and supporting a service for free isn't kind, it's *stupid*. Well, unless you're Warren Buffet and have billions just laying around to burn on a whim.

why not the 11-digit zip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663706)

Hell, why don't they just go with the 11-digit zip code that narrows your address down to individual houses or blocks of 4 or 5 apartments in an apartment building? Why mess with those 'inaccurate' things called neighborhoods? If they're going to go all out with what's available, they may as well go all out...

xkcd says it came a long time ago (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663718)

In a galaxy far away, even... Obligatory XKCD [xkcd.com]

Adblock. (2, Insightful)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663722)

So location specific ads that I still won't see because I have Adblock?

I wonder when the advertising industry will figure out the current amount of advertising has well exceeded the point of diminishing returns and is making consumers go out of there way to get rid of it.

Accuracy? (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663736)

More precision, perhaps.

It's a price for free sites I'm willing to pay (3, Insightful)

Ice Tiger (10883) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663740)

Someone has to pay the bills for running a 'free' site and that is generally advertising.

If that advertising is localised and potentially more relevant for me then I don't mind 'paying' this price. This is why even though I have the option I don't disable advertising on Slashdot.

Re:It's a price for free sites I'm willing to pay (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664518)

Where does it end though? Now they'll know your zip code information, what next - name, bank accounts, ssn, children's names, pet's names, etc. Not to sound alarmist, but I, for one, don't want every site that I accidently stumble into to have my zip code information. Of course - given my luck, I'm with Comcast (don't have much of a choice), and I guarantee they'll be the first. Mostly because they hate their customers.

It is just one more Ad I will Ignore (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663774)

...for I ignore all the others. What I want to know is how much I can charge the Advertisers and the ISP's back for using up my bandwidth, that I'm paying for and shoving Ads down my throat that consume my paid bandwidth? I know I know, the ads come on the sites I select... /sigh I'm sick of advertisers having more rights than people

Here we go (2, Insightful)

ph0rk (118461) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663782)

As Anderton walks in the door, gets his new eyes scanned, and we hear a voice say:


STORE VOICE: Hello, Mr. Yakamoto! Welcome back to the Gap.
STORE VOICE: How'd those assorted tank tops work out for you?
STORE VOICE: Come on in and see how good you look in one of our new Winter sweaters.

Re:Here we go (1)

imakemusic (1164993) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664158)

You mean "STORE VOICE (that only you can hear [usatoday.com] )".

Zip+4 uniquely identifies 1E+09 entities. (2, Interesting)

jayegirl (26328) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663790)

Does the use of Zip+4 strike anyone as a little odd? After all, it allows for 1E+09 entities, and the population of the US is only around 3E+08. Sounds like a serial number to me.

Re:Zip+4 uniquely identifies 1E+09 entities. (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664194)

Your calculations are off because there are only approximately 40,000 different zipcodes in the US and there areoften more than 10,000 people in a single zipcode (mine has 50,000). Zipcode+4 [wikipedia.org] generally refers to a rather small number of people, but it can't be used as a serial number for individual by any means.

A ZIP+4 code uses the basic five-digit code plus four additional digits to identify a geographic segment within the five-digit delivery area, such as a city block, a group of apartments

Re:Zip+4 uniquely identifies 1E+09 entities. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32664322)

It is. My ZIP+4 maps to my house. It's unique to each home in my town. Each PO box even has its own ZIP+4 (last 4 are the PO box number with leading zeros).

Re:Zip+4 uniquely identifies 1E+09 entities. (2, Interesting)

Shag (3737) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664502)

Well, Zip+4 identifies buildings, or groups of buildings... not people. Your ZIP+4 might change over the course of your life - maybe even several times.

My Zip+4 corresponds to the 4 houses on my driveway... but the post office sees ##A, ##B, ##C and ##D on my street and decides that these are clearly apartments in an apartment building. So sites that collect and distribute "public information" about me tend to start off by being completely wrong about my living arrangements.

Not in Denmark (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663802)

Seems to be a US-only thing, luckily. If any ISP tried to do that here in Denmark, they'd get in hot water very quickly. Firstly for tampering with my traffic (adding headers to my request), but most of all by breaking all sort of privacy laws. And rightly so!

Business Model (1)

surmak (1238244) | more than 3 years ago | (#32663806)

I fail to see the business model behind this. They are selling a service to ISPs, which will do DPI, and add an HTTP header to traffic, most likely coming from the ISPs own database. (Only the ISP knows where its cables are terminated.) This is done for the benefit of third party advertisers, who, at least today, are not paying the ISP for the tracking info. I suppose that the info could be encrypted, with the key available to the ad providers who subscribe to a service, and the ISP get kickbacks, but otherwise, I fail to see why an ISP would want to invest in this service.

Slipping down the slope (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663854)

ISPs are drooling over the prospect of turning the internet into a premium service and charging both by the bit and by the site. They have already employed packet inspection and traffic shaping to control my usage as they see fit. Now they might start buying technology to insert information into my data to help marketers target me specifically (but it's not an invasion of privacy!).

What next? A marketing service in which they auction my full name and address to the highest bidder then redirect all requests to his site?

The internet thrives because it is open. It encourages the free exchange of ideas and culture. It brings people together from all across the world for various purposes and promotes community. If we make it resilient enough, it can be a great tool to promote freedom and democracy in regions where it is suppressed. It is currently transforming our society for the better and will continue to do so if allowed to do so.

Stop trying to exploit it.
Stop trying to control it.
Stop trying to kill it.

That's stupid... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32663930)

FTFA as an example of what it could be used for: "For instance, HBO could partner with an ISP to verify, at the network level, that a certain user subscribes to HBO, and so should be allowed to watch its programming for free on Hulu. Users might be annoyed that they can't use a username and password to watch the channel from a computer outside their homes, but content providers will appreciate the way this system can prevent users from sharing accounts."

It would be bullsh*t if they did that. I watch Hulu BECAUSE I can't afford to subscribe to HBO. I participate in the Hulu "ad tailoring" and don't mind the ads they play because, again, I CAN'T AFFORD to have a cable bill AND a high speed internet bill. I know a lot of people are in the same situation. If they did institute that I'd probably read a lot more, that's for sure.

Re:That's stupid... (1)

Kevin72594 (1301889) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664182)

When they say "watch the programming for free" they are hopefully including the advertisements you watch as your payment for the service. So HBO subscribers would then be able to watch HBO programming on Hulu without commercials while non-subscribers would get the commercials. At least, that would be the smart way to do it, I have no confidence that it would actually be done that way though. :(

no good (1)

misfit815 (875442) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664020)

The vast majority of my zip are older than me, NRA members, die-hard Republicans, less computer-savvy than my 11yo daughter, and retired from factory work. They can blast ads for "Guns and Ammo" and the latest Ford F-150 all they want - I ain't buyin'.

Advertisers (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664024)

Do not mess with my trousers!

My ISP is wrong (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664142)

Service goes one place, billing goes another. Guess which one they use when they sell their subscriber list? Yep. Billing. Which doesn't even happen to be in the same state.

I don't think my ISP is competent enough to do targeted ads on the zip+4 for the service address when they've got a different address that gets them money.

Add bogus headers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32664266)

How about a Firefox plugin to add 50 additional random zip headers, just to help the marketers with their data collection.

change the port. (1)

MadMaverick9 (1470565) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664288)

From the article: "affixes a tag inside the HTTP header"

So I assume they are snooping on all traffic on port 80 (and maybe 443) and insert their data into the HTTP header.

Well - we need to move away from a www based on port 80, and start using random ports to access websites. I don't know how to do this, but maybe somebody else does ...

Meaning - webservers need to listen on random ports and search engines need to store the port info and stop assuming port 80 (or 443) as the default. I don't think google et. al. can handle URLs with a port number in it.

I'm all for it if it reduces paper in my mail box (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664374)

Every week I get a huge, thick swath of papers of local advertisements and coupons in my mailbox at home. It goes straight from my mailbox to my recycle bin and it's a huge waste of resources to print all that crap, waste fossil fuels in taking to my house and wasting more fossil fuels to have the recycling truck pick it up. There probably are some useful local businesses that I'd like to know about. I'd rather see ads for local businesses that I can support than national chains.

For anyone that's complaining about this, go ahead and put your money where your mouth is if you're so emotionally fragile that an advertisement will just *ruin* your day.

And Price lined ads too? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32664386)

So now if you live in 90210 (or some other rich neighborhood), the ads can give you higher prices than if you live in a 'poorer' neighborhood!

Cool!

Info Gathering (1)

Shogun37 (1835726) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664396)

I'm not suprised by this. Companies exist for the sole purpose to make money, and advertising has always paid well. But isn't this a major invasion of privacy?

Ads are not the worst part (1)

wcrowe (94389) | more than 3 years ago | (#32664432)

Targeted ads are only the beginning. Soon, I expect ISP's will be selling your surfing habits as well. Here's where this person lives. Here are the websites they visit. Here are the terms they have searched this week. Here is what they have purchased online. Etc, etc.

Everyone worries about the government having this kind of information. Meanwhile, businesses are quietly gathering this data, and will sell it to whoever wants it. All completely legal, and we are paying them to do it as well.

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