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Users Know Advertisers Watch Them, and Hate It

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the someone-to-watch-over-me dept.

Privacy 243

Chris Blanc tips an Ars writeup on a survey of consumer attitudes toward targeted advertising. The results of the survey, conducted for TRUSTe, confirm that advertisers are in a tough spot. "[The survey company] randomly selected 1,015 nationally representative adults... Although only 40 percent of the group was familiar with the term 'behavioral targeting,' most users were well aware of the practice. 57 percent reported that they weren't comfortable their activities [were being] tracked for advertising purposes, even if the information couldn't be tied to their names or real-life identities. Simultaneously, 72 percent of those surveyed said that they find online advertising annoying when the ads are not relevant to their needs..."

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Duh! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22937838)

n/t

And in other news (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22937858)

Niggers hate being sober... news at 11

Big deal? (4, Interesting)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937840)

I'm not sure exactly ... what privacy we are supposed to expect online. We're essentially driving on open roads while surfing the net, right... sending packets over open wires or open air. As long as it isn't malicious and isn't gathering actual personal information, I'm not sure this is unexpected or even a problem; no different than checking to see what kind of people shop at certain stores or malls to see what to put on the billboard...

Re:Big deal? (4, Interesting)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937888)

And what kind of privacy do we expect when we use the postal system? I mean we're basically sending packets of information over open lines. Maybe I'm odd but I really don't like the idea of my behavior being used to try and sell me things. When I do buy things online I make it a point to not use any kind of targeted advertisements to reach the sellers. The billboard analogy doesn't really hold water since it's not targeted, and is much less intrusive and potentially misleading than most online adverts. Plus I'm not paying for the bandwidth to view the ad like I do with the online world.

Re:Big deal? (4, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937938)

But isn't the advertising to some extent what keeps some websites afloat? Even some services?

As for billboards being less intrusive, that depends on the billboard and where it is, and how often you happen to visit wherever it is...

And as for the postal systems, that is a federal system and it is illegal to open someone else's mail. I'm not sure the same applies to online transactions, depending on how it is sent. If you shout across the room, don't sue me for listening if I'm in the room...

Re:Big deal? (2, Insightful)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937986)

I would definitely agree that advertising is what keeps the vast majority of websites afloat. I suppose my complaint is primarily against bad advertising, the in-your-face MySpace style versus the classier Facebook approach. Ads targeted to certain websites (if I visit a technology site, seeing banner ads for CDW or NewEgg is fine) are certainly reasonable, but if I'm running a search for gardening tips I don't want to be assaulted with ads for seed producers, mulch manufacturers or whatever the heck else goes into gardening (I should have picked an analogy I know more about). Your last point is excellent although I may go a little off-topic talking about it. When people ask me how I condone music sharing I use a very similar analogy, when people shout across a room that information is open. When a radio station pumps out a signal that too should be considered open since they are making it publicly available. You can argue about quality and sampling but that's for a different submission.

Re:Big deal? (4, Insightful)

number11 (129686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938146)

isn't the advertising to some extent what keeps some websites afloat?

Perhaps. What's that got to do with liking it? Proctoscopy may make me live longer, but that doesn't make me enthusiastic about having a proctoscope jammed up my butt.

As for billboards being less intrusive, that depends on the billboard and where it is, and how often you happen to visit wherever it is.

True. And not all advertising is obnoxious. Just advertising that is ugly, poorly designed, gaudy, moves on my screen, takes up space on my screen to the detriment of the page, makes the page load slower, or is for things I'm not interested in at the moment. So that includes about 75% of the advertising I see on websites ("ads that I see" does not include anything using Flash or most popups). Most of the other 25% is Google's ads, which aren't too obtrusive yet. If I'm shopping, I might even click on them.

TFA says that consumers want to see more relevant ads. It is very important to note that "more" modifies the word "relevant", not the word "ads".

Re:Big deal? (1, Troll)

Nearly Everything (1243224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937892)

If they want me to give them consumer information that they can use to make money in any shape or form, they can pay me for it. Otherwise they can SUCK MAH BALLS! It's not like they ever want to give the consumers a better product anyways, they just want to find a better way to package utter shit. That being said, if they made those "shoot the endangered species!" ads more complex, I'd play that ish. Make a flash ad into that Redneck deer hunting game. Ballin.

Re:Big deal? (2, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937902)

but it is personal, and it's unwanted.

Re:Big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22937998)

If you don't like the practises of the website, don't go to that website. If you really want, send them an email.
If a B&M shop forced me to reveal personal information before I entered, I wouldn't go in. Simple as that.

Re:Big deal? (1)

QuantumFTL (197300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937926)

I'm not sure exactly ... what privacy we are supposed to expect online... [snip] sending packets over open wires or open air.
Yeah, this is pretty ridiculous. At the very minimum, all wireless routers should support some standard VPN which is nearly unbreakable, web traffic should be encrypted, and addresses and DNS lookups should be encrypted as well (perhaps using one way hash functions or the like). It annoys me that individuals other than the computer I'm communicating with know that the communication is occurring, the port numbers, and potentially even the contents.

Maybe when we make the switch to IPv6 (heh!) we can visit some of these issues as well.

Re:Big deal? (2, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938052)

Well it's really a twofold problem. No one is going to implement encryption and digital signatures by default if no one requests it, and most people either don't know or don't care that 95% of all their Internet traffic is transmitted in the clear. I've seen plenty of people stupidly logging into their Facebook accounts and sending instant messages over unencrypted public Wi-Fi connections.

We don't need IPv6 to do this. We just need to get more people to start using current technologies like OTR and PGP so that the minority who use them now don't have to suffer from everybody else's unwillingness to use them.

Re:Big deal? (2, Insightful)

tsa (15680) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938116)

And why is that stupid? It all depends on what messages you type and what is on your Facebook page. and the Facebook account is public anyway, encryption or not, everybody can see your page.

Re:Big deal? (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938192)

Umm, no. You can have privacy controls set so that no one but your friends see your profile, and you have to sign up for Facebook just to see any profiles at all. I'll admit it's not really security, but it certainly isn't the same as a public MySpace page where literally anyone can see it.

Re:Big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938394)

Generally most users allow anyone in their network to view their profile, which could be thousands of people. It's not out in the open for anyone to find using a search engine, but it still isn't private.

Well, this is why it's a big deal (4, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938322)

Well, the big deal is that

1. people change their behaviour when they think they're watched. Doubly so when it's recorded and they're not even sure when it'll be used, how, and in which way it'll bite them in the arse.

My favourite example is about the USSR. Everyone knows the brutality of Stalin's NKVD and about the Gulag, but that got toned down a lot after Stalin. Mostly because it was cheaper and more effective to just give people the impression that everything they say or do goes into some dossier, and they have no idea when it'll be used against them or how. Maybe it'll be the GULAG, but maybe they'll never travel abroad again, or maybe their kid won't ever get a promotion because of what their father said, or God knows what else. Or maybe nothing will ever happen, but there's no way to know.

That uncertainty is actually scarier than immediate repression. It removes the feedback. With Stalin's NKVD, you could know pretty soon whether they have anything against you or not. With something that might, or might not happen, and might take a decade or two to, you just don't know.

The bigger effect is that it made people distrust each other, and thus unlikely to get organized. If comrade Piotr swears at the Party, how do you know if he isn't some agent provocateur trying to get you to say something you'll regret. And even if he isn't, do you want it on your record that you hang out with a disgruntled enemy of the people? Best avoid going drinking with Piotr in the future.

Of course, you could point out, that was only because Big Brother there had not only ears, but also an arm with a whip and an inclination to use it. Well one way or another disincentives exist just as well in a free society, and in the West we're all the more eager to accept them if they're wielded by the private industry instead of the state.

E.g., just like in Soviet Russia you might have feared that you'll never get a well paid job if you have on your record that you're a maladjusted malcontent, the exact same can happen in the west too, in a world where employers routinely google their employees. Even if your current boss doesn't mind it, how do you know if the next job interview doesn't get influenced by something you said or did?

E.g., to get to more mundane western worries, if you're, say, in a particularly bigotted town in the Bible Belt, do you want your next employer to know that you're surfing for gay porn? Most people even if they're not particularly secretive about either being gay or surfing for porn, don't wear "I download gay porn" on a badge at a job interview either.

This whole data collection, and the possibility that it'll get leaked, sold to the highest bidder, or just given as a "gift to the community" like the infamous AOL search data, is enough to make a lot of people think twice about what they do. Even if it's not antisocial per se. Better not trip someone's sensitivities the wrong way, and all that.

(And, yes, I know, maybe _you_ are brave and fearless and never give in, bla, bla, bla. The vast majority of others aren't. That's the problem.)

It can enforce a degree of conformism that's outright scary.

2. Data mining, especially the way Joe Sixpack doesn't even understand it, adds another layer of scariness to it all. You don't know over what inferences they'll get to you, or whether you'll be a bystander casualty of one.

Basically the same as you wouldn't go into a black or jewish boss's office carrying some white supremacist magazine under your arm. Chances are the "pays to read that kind of thing => probably is a racist" inference won't help your career much. So even the real bigoted guys still wouldn't do it.

Data mining promises to make the same kind of inferences from other more mundane things. That even much more innocent things could finger you as something you'd rather not proclaim yourself as, or even genuinely aren't.

E.g., what if some data mining survey says that employees drinking Coca Cola are twice as loyal to the company as the rebels drinking Pepsi? Would you want to be the only guy drinking Pepsi at work? Well, maybe you would, but Joe Sixpack wouldn't. E.g., what if some data mining survey says that most convicted paedophiles used, say, Yahoo because of weaker filtering. Do you want to show your boss your l33t Yahoo Fu then? Etc.

So it adds a level of scariness that can push that conformism into the tiniest details of one's life. Better do what everyone else does, not stand out, not give them anything that could link you to crap.

3. It also adds a level of stress. Most people aren't made to be 100% public. Hell, most mammals aren't. Even the most affectionate lap cat needs some time alone, and will go neurotic if she doesn't get it. So the thought that someone's watching each of your steps is scary.

4. The comparison to malls and public roads is weak. In a mall you're lost in a crowd, essentially. And even with security cameras, probably noone will bother tracking you personally. Unless a hold up happens at that exact time, noone will dig that tape out. So there's still _some_ privacy in being one in 1000 people there.

Computers and data mining promise to reverse even that. Some computer will sit there crunching inferences like that if you liked Wagner then you'd probably like Hitler's Mein Kampf too. Just because it does it about everyone else.

Bottom line... (5, Insightful)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937844)

Nobody likes advertising. Period.

I see you are having your period... (5, Funny)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937866)

Why worry about your period when you have more important stuff to think about?

At Tampax we understand this and that's why our tampons are designed to suit your body and help you get on with life...

Re:I see you are having your period... (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937890)

Cue the goatse troll.

Re:I see you are having your period... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938002)

Learn to have a sense of humor, Linux pumpkin pie.

Re:I see you are having your period... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938160)

At Tampax we understand this and that's why our tampons are designed to suit your body and help you get on with life...
Cue the goatse troll.
This [mypapercrane.com] will fit just right.

SLASHDOT SUX0RZ! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938292)

Users know Goatse watch them, and love it. http://goatse.cz/ [goatse.cz]

Re:SLASHDOT SUX0RZ! (1)

renegadesx (977007) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938308)

You forgot the ASCII art. Fail

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (5, Insightful)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937898)

Advertising is fine.. "MARKETING" is what people dont like.

advertising is merely publishing the existence of a product.

marketing is the active, dogmatic, flagrant, imposition of a product to a particular target using the most invasive means possible within the boundaries of the law. An advertisement would be a poster for a revlon product in a department store. marketing would be the woman who blocks your path and burns your eyes out with a well placed blast of a perfume bottle.

your typical toy marketing campaign is not about convincing you and your kid to get this toy.. it's about deliberately manipulating your kids into pissing you off until you pay them temper tantrum protection money.

Slashdot's ads are actual advertising, while those seizure inducing flashers, popup windows, and fake system alerts are marketing.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (4, Funny)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937946)

That's marketing?

I always called it "bullshitting."

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937966)

Marketing, to me, is a very subtle [like a charging rhinoceros] plan to raise one's awareness of a product in order to gain eventual acceptance through repetition. Product placement in movies is marketing. A big cuddly cartoon character who smokes is marketing. The stuff that makes network television unwatchable is advertising.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (4, Insightful)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938012)

Sorry, you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

True marketing deals with WHO buys WHAT. After that ADVERTISING takes over.

The slashdot crowd may unilaterally hate "marketing", but thats because they don't understand what it truly does. It is ironic that most people here who hate marketing don't sign their own checks.

Confusing B2C advertising methodologies with true marketing is ignorant. Apple is winning due to marketing, not advertising. Microsoft won due to Marketing, not advertising. Sony pwned for 2 iterations of gaming devices due to marketing, not advertising. Band-Aids, Toyota, Whole Foods, Glock, Clorox, Dyson, BMW, Jones Soda - these entities are winning due to marketing, not advertising.

Marketing is an analysis of data....thats it. Those who choose to use tha data to advertise corruptly are the culprits.

Get a clue.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (2, Funny)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938066)

I'll let the other slashdotters eat you alive for accusing them of being deadbeat leeches on their spouses and/or families, but jones soda is not winning based on marketing OR advertising.

jones soda is winning because they actually follow the equation P = MC. They don't skimp on their ingredients like the major bottling houses do, and they don't gouge like they do.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (2, Insightful)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938086)

ones soda is winning because they actually follow the equation P = MC. They don't skimp on their ingredients like the major bottling houses do, and they don't gouge like they do.
Thats called market analysis my friend.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938108)

Just wanted to say I enjoyed your posts on marketing.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938120)

Yes it is, as is common in economics. Market analysis is different from marketing, see my original post.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938130)

Market analysis is a function of marketing. See any productive business.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938166)

just as sprockets are a function of military weapons. you still can't classify sprockets as military weapons.

btw, I bookmarked your sig. nice.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

Irish_Samurai (224931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938226)

btw, I bookmarked your sig. nice.
Yeah, its hard to argue the "know your enemy" viewpoint. Especially when I AM the enemy.

You must realize, there are marketers out there who are interested in the common good. We do know the reality of the situation and want to rectify it for the good of the consumer and the business. Fuck, Google was a prime example until about 2004.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938494)

I'm degreed in the field, partisan hackery has nothing to do with this issue.
Unless you have wide peer review, that claim inevitably falls flat on its ass.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (4, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938102)

I'll let the other slashdotters eat you alive for accusing them of being deadbeat leeches on their spouses and/or families, but jones soda is not winning based on marketing OR advertising.

jones soda is winning because they actually follow the equation P = MC. They don't skimp on their ingredients like the major bottling houses do, and they don't gouge like they do.
The fact that you know so much--and are so enthusiastic about jones soda (i think you just advertised for them)--shows how well their marketing is doing. You've bought into jones soda as an "alternative" to Big Soda. Marketing. Jones soda spends quite a lot of money on marketing!

As the saying goes, sell the sizzle, not the steak. p=mc, ingredients, alternative to major bottling houses, not gouging--sizzle. You didn't say a single thing about the flavor! Seems very telling...

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (3, Informative)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938114)

not true.

I "bought into" a package of a particular flavor of jones soda because it tastes like a drink that's exceedingly expensive to import. (it's sold in the asian district for about 25 cents an OUNCE)

the soda was 40 cents less a can than the pepsi products on the same aisle.

nothing to do with marketing, it's called a competitive product -- something foreign to the US economy for a long time because the vast majority of producers who pull that "capitalism" crap are bought out and shut down by the incumbents.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

Ethan Allison (904983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938150)

What is it?

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938184)

to tell you the truth I dont know.

One of my chinese friends handed me some one day and I liked it, asked where it was sold (I can't read the characters... there are only tens of thousands of them in the chinese alphabet : P)

for all I know it could be chinese for "soylent green" or "death to america"

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (4, Insightful)

Alphager (957739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938070)

The people who get the data in the first place are as corrupt as the advertisers. Marketing still is pure manipulation. Apple is a fine example: They offer sub-par hardware (Iphone without 3G, Macbook without great colors...) with an alternative OS to incredible high prices. They use chinese sweatshop-labor, highly toxic chemicals and somehow still have a positive image. That is pure evil manipulation.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938078)

Get a clue.

I would, but apparently I'm not in the target demographic.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938230)

Band-Aids, Toyota, Whole Foods, Glock, Clorox, Dyson, BMW, Jones Soda

Could it be that those products are winning because they have consistently high quality?
Sure I suppose that some of that could fall under the heading of marketing, if marketing means knowing that people don't like shoddy design, planned obsolescence, or unnatural food additives. I suppose that making a connection between poor business practices that result in a boycott or lack of trust in your product would have to qualify as marketing too. I'm fine with businesses knowing that those things are important, but then marketing should also understand that I find databasing my non-consumer habits to be an offensive business practice, and apparently so do many other people.

Just make a product to that the CEO would actually want to use on a regular basis and the company will have a good reputation.I believe all Apple design is centered on pleasing Steve Jobs, Apple has a good reputation for quality. I'm guessing that the upper management of McDonalds doesn't eat there regularly and the Waltons don't shop at Wal-mart, those companies have bad reputations for quality. No need to snoop my search data to have a good reputation.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

nicklott (533496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938284)

It is ironic that most people here who hate marketing don't sign their own checks.
That's what always makes me laugh. How do they think their employer gets the money to pay their wages? (those in academia and public service excepted of course)

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938590)

It is ironic that most people here who hate marketing don't sign their own checks.

wtf? people still use cheques? (learn to spell by the way) what are you? from the 1980's or something?

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

blahplusplus (757119) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938110)

"advertising is merely publishing the existence of a product"

Uhm, there is NO clear demarcation between advertising and marketing. When someone from my bank calls me up about credit card offer X/Y/Z WITHOUT my persmission they have gone overboard and it's no longer advertising but STALKING for profit. No business should have the right to HARASS it's customers or "inform them" of things they DON'T want to be 'informed' about. I do online banking and they are free to advertise on their site but to CALL ME UP and say "we have x/y/z" is just a little too much for me.

It's a money grab pure and simple, the guy on the phone is being paid to advertise a product. They will harass you until they meet their profit targets. I'm not sure what alternet reality you live in but companies are getting to the point where they just know too much about you and are basically like big brother, except this big brother is a greedy shill trying to meet their profit targets.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

CBravo (35450) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938168)

That's funny, I'm seeing a 'google-analytics.com' in my spam blocker... I'd say that is marketing.

Re:Bottom line...Not quite (1)

jandersen (462034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938456)

Advertising is fine.. "MARKETING" is what people dont like.
Actually, no. Advertising is the useless crap that litters an otherwise well-functioning web (as well as just about every street, magazine and tv-channel) and turns what would have been an enjoyable journey into a noisy, uncomfortable run of the gauntlet in a desperate attempt to get to the information you are after. And that is why people hate it.

I suspect most of us would mind it a lot less if we only saw adverts that were discreet and addressed our needs exactly; in fact, I think the best and probably most efficient kind of advertising is the one that comes in a form similar to the good, old Yellow Pages telephone catalogue. You only see them when you are actively looking for them, at which point you are higly motivated, and the adverts therefore are highly relevant.

Re:Bottom line... (2, Insightful)

Danny Rathjens (8471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938174)

We like paying for things directly even less. This way we don't feel the pain of pulling our wallet out. It just increases the prices of everything we do buy by a bit.

Re:Bottom line... (3, Insightful)

trawg (308495) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938182)

I like advertising - it keeps websites like Slashdot free to use.

I work for companies that are dependent on advertising to make revenue. I'd prefer to keep those websites free, and advertising is the best way to do this.

I try not to be a hypocrite, so I don't block ads. If a website has horribly obtrusive ads, I simply stop visiting it, but I have pretty high tolerance for it now. I either tune them out or just deal with it, because the comparatively minor inconvenience is often well worth the benefit of having free access to content/services.

Re:Bottom line... (2, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938406)

Nobody likes advertising. Period.

I'd like to agree with you, but I don't believe that's true.

The reason why advertising exists and is prevalent as it is is that we, the great unwashed masses are happy to tolerate it, and obligingly participate in it, all with little or no thought. You could argue, for example, that the blight that exists on a city's buildings and infrastructure saves a few dollars for taxpayers, but hell, we've gotten to the point we erect building and monuments to the stuff. When we're not queuing up at the Staples Center, we're wearing baseball caps, T-shirts and tatoos with brand names of all sorts plastered on them, sitting through a full evening's worth of advertiser-supported TV (singing along to commercials when inclined), and asking our doctors about the Celebrex. And we like it! You think we'd enjoy our purchases as much if we weren't repeatedly told how good they really were?

There's conclusions to be drawn from an uninformed populace that not only lacks the ability to think critically but also lacks the discipline to practise it, but in the meantime, the entertainment value of being distracted by an advertiser's promises of better things is welcomed with open arms. We don't object to defining ourselves as "consumers", because anything else is, well, we'd rather not go there.

For now, the web is a bit different insofar as screen real estate and technological limitations provide a check to the wholesale acceptance that exists on TV, for example. But I doubt that state of affairs will last indefinitely.

Re:Bottom line... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938586)

What I don't like is PAYING MYSELF for THEIR advertising. I'm paying for my Internet connection. I'm paying for all the traffic. Then, I'm paying for their advertising.

Most Internet connection have a flat rate. Some don't and have a GB/month cap. The advertising chew from that cap.

In the US, local phone calls are free. In most countries they don't. That means that if you are using a modem, you are paying your Internet connection by the minute. So, you are effectively paying for their advertising.

If they want me to look at they silly banners, then find a way to PAY ME for that first. Then we'll see.

biggest threat on the Internet (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22937856)


spyware ? driven by advertising
spam ? driven by advertising
splogs ? driven by advertising

just about every threat to your average user on the web is in some way attributable to advertising

Re:biggest threat on the Internet (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938024)

Slashdot? Partly funded by advertising. Computer sites? Funded by advertising. Open source software? Sometimes funded with website advertising.

Spyware, spam, and splogs aren't driven by advertising, they are driven by money.

Just Don't Look (4, Insightful)

Sterrance (1257342) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937880)

This Article reminded me of a Simpson's song. To stop those monsters 1-2-3, Here's a fresh new way that's trouble-free, It's got Paul Anka's guarantee... Lisa: Guarantee void in Tennessee. All: Just don't look! Just don't look! Just don't look! Just don't look! Just don't look! Just don't look! Seriously though I've stopped paying attention to ads altogether. Except for those amusing General Insurance ads where you play a car and avoid getting hit, those ads I fully support.

Re:Just Don't Look (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22937914)

What about Punch The Monkey And Win A PS3?

Re:Just Don't Look (2, Insightful)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937974)

Or, you know, use Adblock Plus.

Re:Just Don't Look (2, Informative)

JaBob (1194069) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938096)

...and while you're at it... check in every now and then what gets white-listed and wonder how much longer it's going to be effective for.

Users Prefer Targeted Advertising (3, Insightful)

enoz (1181117) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937896)

...was the subject line that I expected after reading the summary.

Well, block them. (5, Insightful)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937920)

We all are smart (or many claim to be). We push Firefox and such software so we take control of the web.

Every machine has a hosts file in which machines can be locally defined.

So, lets take what we know and make ads gone.. maybe not all of them.. Lets start with the annoying ones first.

First, get Firefox.
Next, we gets some plugins:
Adblock Plus
NoScript
NukeAnythingEnhanced
Flashblock

What, you dont like being watched? Now get TOR from tor.eff.org and install it, along with accompanying firefox plugin for proxy changing

Set up TOR and now you have ad-free browsing, with optional anonymizing surfing when needed (for performance hit).

Re:Well, block them. (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937960)

You're getting free content, it has to be paid for somehow. All you really need of those four is noscript For the bits where noscript overlaps with adblock, you really shouldn't be blocking, anyway.

Re:Well, block them. (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938000)

You're getting free content, it has to be paid for somehow.

Tell that to all those BBS sysops... [wikipedia.org] Just because they've convinced you that you have to pay in one form or another, doesn't mean that it is so.

Re:Well, block them. (4, Interesting)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938014)

What is the benefit for me viewing ads? Oh yeah, I "steal content".

It is MY choice what images I load, what scripts I render, and what HTML code I accept. You have NO SAY.

I have no qualms to disable ads any way I can, and I will show/set up ad killers so that my clients can surf safer and distraction free.

My setup does not block text ads... You want a way to our eyeballs, make ads like Kuro5hin.org . I recently bought a VPS because of an NON-obtrusive ad I viewed there.

Re:Well, block them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938556)

You're getting free content, it has to be paid for somehow.

My ad blocking list only grows as a result of an advertisement is excessively annoying. It's no different than me muting my TV the second a show goes to commercial break. I do this because the ads are excessively LOUD. Annoy me, I turn you off. Flashing high contrast colors on a web ad is no different than ads on the TV being too FUCKING loud.

I never have never and never will use a 1800callatt or 1800collect. I'm sorry, but their ads PISSED ME THE FUCK OFF.

If you want your website to make money from ads then demand ads that don't piss people off. Contact your ad providers and inform them that they are pissing people off and reaching fewer people as a result.

I've never understood why advertisers either think it's necessary to piss people off or have no clue that they are.

Re:Well, block them. (1)

MrMr (219533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938672)

I'm not getting free content. The content is paid for in the form of compulsory advertisement tax on the products I buy.
If a company also wants my attention for one of their product ads they should pay me, and not the advertising agency.

Re:Well, block them. (3, Informative)

DrEldarion (114072) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937980)

You do realize that blocking the easy-to-block ads will just make them create more annoying ones, right? (see: interstitials)

Anyway, if you don't like ads, don't use ad-supported sites. It's that simple. If you like the site, leave the ads on and support the creator. Don't be childish about it.

Re:Well, block them. (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938068)

Yeah, it could encourage creation of more javascript and flash hackery to display ads. As an example (which I am NOT linking to) is the GNAA's Last Measure, in which images of fecaljapan, lemonparty, goatse, penisbird rapidly pop up and move around the screen to prevent closing them. Even though this is a shock site, it represents the hack attempts by advertisers.

They should be rightfully ignored and blocked.

Instead, text ads are not blocked. Google proved that one, as that is what they use.

Re:Well, block them. (1)

StuckInSyrup (745480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938622)

So I should look at the obnoxious bullshit ads, because if I block them, some even more obnoxious bullshit ads will replace them?

Re:Well, block them. (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938554)

You do realize that blocking the easy-to-block ads will just make them create more annoying ones, right? (see: interstitials)
That's why God invented Greasemonkey. If there's an interstitial ad out there, there's probably a Greasemonkey script to bypass it.

Re:Well, block them. (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937992)

Tor exit nodes can still harvest your information.

Re:Well, block them. (1)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938080)

The same could be said about your ISP.. Or their ISP.. Or their ISP..

Unless each point is using some sort of encryption along with authentication, data capture at an exit node can happen anywhere.

Re:Well, block them. (5, Insightful)

Temporal (96070) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938090)

Of course, note that by using TOR, you are essentially telling every web site you visit: "I am a user who is excessively concerned with privacy and knows how to anonymize himself. Statistically speaking, I am probably (though not certainly) college-age, computer-savvy, geeky, single, and male. Effective ads for me are likely to include ads for dating services, computer hardware, nifty gadgets, video games, and Ron Paul." Normally, advertisers would have to do a ton of tracking and data mining to determine these things, but you're just telling them right off the bat.

Just saying.

Re:Well, block them. (5, Funny)

plasmacutter (901737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938206)

you are essentially telling every web site you visit: "I am a user who is excessively concerned with privacy and knows how to anonymize himself. Statistically speaking, I am probably (though not certainly) college-age, computer-savvy, geeky, single, and male. Effective ads for me are likely to include ads for dating services, computer hardware, nifty gadgets, video games, and Ron Paul."


or.. "I am a user who is excessively concerned with privacy and knows how to anonymize himself. Statistically speaking, I am probably (though not certainly) a reactionary paramilitary survivalist cult member. Effective ads for me are likely to include ads for weapons, military surplus, canned goods, religious iconography, industrial grade generators, and DIY bomb shelters."

Re:Well, block them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938264)

Not quite. Tor is also popular amongst embassy personnel. That's how all their passwords got out a while ago.

Adblock or opera to the rescue. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22937930)

Today, browsing would be well nigh impossible for me without adblock or opera's build in ad-blocking features. It's pretty much a given, before browsing. The huge size of the block lists are an indication of how almost every site is infested with ads, like termites.

Re:Adblock or opera to the rescue. (1)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938018)

I've had Adblock Plus now I don't know how long, probably years and
it's the first thing I install on every new Firefox I get, whether it's a work or
at home... and you know what, I had no idea how sites look like, how they're
plastered with ad crap until I started IE7 at work just for the fun of it.
The interesting thing is, I've pretty much forgotten about ads because the
blacklists that ABP automatically pulls get updated regularily :-)

TrustE isn't a regulatory organization (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937932)

TrustE is more of an apologist than a regulator. TrustE stopped being serious about privacy in 1997, when they "simplified" their seal program. [news.com] A TrustE seal doesn't mean that any standard has been met. All it means now is that the company claims to comply with their own privacy statement, whatever it says. That's it.

Even worse, a site with a TrustE seal is more likely to have badware than one without a seal. [benedelman.org]

TrustE has revoked only two certificates in its ten year history.

Let's see (3, Interesting)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937944)

There are no positive articles on the topic of "behavioral targeting" because of how hard privacy activists try to publicize their views, and like "death tax", this is a case where the phrase itself is used to push an agenda. No one wants their "behavior targeted". So for the people who know and use the term "behavioral targeting", we can already assume they have a predisposition on the topic a bit. If instead we use "relevant advertising" to refer to the same technique, surely this will effect the way it is perceived.

With that said, I don't see how harmful this can be. Browsers do a good job of protecting us from the worst case scenarios, and web sites have a hard time implementing this effectively anyway. The sites best at this are those with real information, like amazon or ebay that have your info and can track what you do. But again, you are on their turf, so its kinda like complaining about being watched by security cameras at Best Buy, or about the membership card that tracks everything you buy at CVS.

Re:Let's see (2, Funny)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938016)

Great. Now I have to wear a mask and forgo my discount every time I go shopping just to secure my privacy.

You're not in Kansas anymore Dorothy... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938104)

With that said, I don't see how harmful this can be. Browsers do a good job of protecting us from the worst case scenarios, and web sites have a hard time implementing this effectively anyway. The sites best at this are those with real information, like amazon or ebay that have your info and can track what you do. But again, you are on their turf, so its kinda like complaining about being watched by security cameras at Best Buy, or about the membership card that tracks everything you buy at CVS.


No it's nothing like that at all. [theregister.co.uk] But hey, I'm obviously just a privacy advocate pushing an agenda (AKA: facts)!

Morons are morons (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22937968)

You hate the ad companies. Lol, you are a moron. What about the sites like slashdot that post the ads and let them track?

Just use superliminal advertising instead (4, Funny)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937988)

Hey! You!

BUY STUFF!!!

Re:Just use superliminal advertising instead (1)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938076)

What works better? superliminal or subliminal? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subliminal_message [wikipedia.org]
Superliminal must be some new marketing-speak term. (similar to last week's new clintonian term: "misremembered") Wikipedia does not have an article on it "superliminal" advertising.
Just thought it was called it 'loud' and 'yelling ads' or propaganda-style...

Re:Just use superliminal advertising instead (4, Funny)

palndrumm (416336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938148)

Superliminal must be some new marketing-speak term.
The Simpsons, episode CABF12 [snpp.com] :

Lisa: But you have recruiting ads on TV. Why do you need subliminal messages?
Lt. Smash: It's a three-pronged attack. Subliminal, liminal, and superliminal.
Lisa: Superliminal?
Lt. Smash: I'll show you. [opens the window, and shouts at Lenny and Carl, who are standing on the corner] Hey, you! Join the Navy!
Carl: Uh, yeah, all right.
Lenny: I'm in.

Re:Just use superliminal advertising instead (2, Funny)

fireheadca (853580) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938100)

SMOKE.

Re:Just use superliminal advertising instead (1)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938164)

You must tell me how you got past those anti-shouting filters.

Re:Just use superliminal advertising instead (1)

fireheadca (853580) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938330)

smoke.

I disagree with their analysis (4, Interesting)

isellmacs (661604) | more than 6 years ago | (#22937990)

"TRUSTe notes that this attitude presents a conundrum for advertisers, who are simultaneously being told that consumers want to see more relevant ads but don't want to have their activities tracked in order to make those ads relevant."


I don't get that at all from these numbers; personal experience tells me that people don't want to see ads. Relevent ads aren't as bad, and some can be useful, but most just don't want to see ads.

The fact of the matter is that it is the advertisers themselves who want us to see their ads, not the other way around. To do this, they add stuff to their advertisements in order to make you pay attention to them.

People who pay attention to advertisements/commericals are the product to be sold, the advertisers are the real customer, and the content, whether it be magazine, movie, game etc is just the bait to lure us into the 'snare' and pay attention to the advertisement.

When people WANT to view an advertisement, we'll look for a product then. Building brand awareness beforehand might be effective, but that doesn't mean we enjoy being conditioned in such a manner. If we could have the carrot without risking the snare, we would totally take that. When we want the snare, we'll let you know.

Re:I disagree with their analysis (4, Interesting)

squidfood (149212) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938314)

When people WANT to view an advertisement, we'll look for a product then.

ThinkGeek proves you wrong... I didn't know I wanted *half* that stuff! Seriously, targeting a specialist *site* works wonders, while targeting an individual is annoying. It's old technique though; for example, in specialist-enough niche (print) magazines for hobbyists, the ads are actually quite often interesting and useful to their audience.

Re:I disagree with their analysis (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938346)

I don't get that at all from these numbers; personal experience tells me that people don't want to see ads. Relevent ads aren't as bad, and some can be useful, but most just don't want to see ads.
True, relevant ads are not as bad, as they waste your time less, as you might actually be interested in them.

But that is only true as long as there is no danger of somebody who know watching over your shoulder. If there is, relevant ads can lead to highly embarrassing situations...

I don't see the problem (5, Insightful)

InlawBiker (1124825) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938004)

Am I the only one? I see it like this - I get content for free. Somebody has to pay those people to create, host and maintain that content. I know the ads are not going away. So long as the ads are there I prefer them to be relevant to my needs. So sure, track away. I'd rather see ads for things I'm interested in than things I'm not. They don't know my name or where I live so no harm done. If ads are too pushy or distracting from the content I'll use another site This is one of the reasons Google won the search engine war - their ads are not annoying and they work for the people trying to sell us stuff.

Re:I don't see the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938094)

I agree that ads are useful because we can learn about potential products you might want, and we get free content...yay.

Just beware that a few years down the line (or even now), massive amounts of data can be aggregated and statistically correlated to make a lot of assumptions about you and your future behavior - and yes, it's likeley they will buy access to a good amount of your personal info.

Re:I don't see the problem (1)

snl2587 (1177409) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938118)

If ads are too pushy or distracting from the content I'll use another site

And in the meantime I use AdBlock Plus. No ad, no problem.

I know advertisers and site admins probably hate that, but I hate the fact that no one seems to know how to display ads in a way that is unobtrusive and effective.

We need a do not watch list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22938082)

Like a do not call list

Ironically (1)

fireheadca (853580) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938084)

After clicking the Google RS feed - I was prompted to skip a full screen ad for a Dell something or other.

Damn, I hate that.

2 cents (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938140)

Adblock, Noscript, & regular cookie trimming should keep those pesky web trackers working hard for those pennies.

Sure... (1)

Darkforge (28199) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938244)

"Users Know Advertisers Watch Them, and Hate It" ... just not enough to do anything about it.

It turns out that users like free/cheap stuff a lot more than they hate advertising or "behavioral targeting." People clicking on ads is a big part of the reason why we don't have to pay anything for Slashdot.

Don't you just hate that?

Wow. (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938270)

Given a targeted ad or a non-targeted ad, I would prefer the targeted.

Yes, sometimes it is irritating when I see an advertisement that I know is hitting my demographic exactly and pushing my buttons. But a few times I have disregarded it and been sorry I did because I would have wanted the service/item at a critical time.

Overall, I'd rather see ads for computer equipment than scuba gear. The latter is a total waste of my time, the former keeps me up on prices and features of stuff I buy all the time.

Of course, with adblock/Tivo/Netflix/BitTorrent/removal from snail-mail spamming lists, I rarely see an ad that is forced on me anyways. Mostly it's when I go looking. Unsolicited advertising is for the little people.

block third-party images, scripts, and cookies (1)

robo_mojo (997193) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938286)

99.99%* of ads can be avoided by blocking cross-site images and scripts (cross-site scripts should be killed outright, while images can be replaced with placeholders).

The other 0.01%* of sites that actually host their own ads have special deals with the companies to advertise their products directly. Those usually result in reasonable, non obtrusive ads that actually make sense on the site.

*numbers pulled out of my ass

Even the summary of the questions is loaded (1)

telso (924323) | more than 6 years ago | (#22938708)

57 percent reported that they weren't comfortable their activities tracked for advertising purposes, even if the information couldn't be tied to their names or real-life identities.
I wonder what question they actually asked (no link in TFA). If the summary accurately reflects the question, then what would we expect? "Are you comfortable that your web browsing, email and purchases are tracked for advertising purposes, even if the information can't be tied to your name or real-life identity?" I'm surprised 43 per cent of people said no to this! There's really no way to figure out this information without biasing the sample as you ask the question.
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