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AdBlocker ATS may be breaking EU law

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posted on Apr, 23 2016 @ 03:56 PM
The OP stated they were having either platform or bandwidth issues due to "limited Means".
The ATS decision to limit upload of image content seems like the fairest solution.
Essentially if you are limited too dial-up you cannot handle much more than text.

XP users are starting to see problems with *some* dynamic content and certain pop-ups.
Fortunately *most* of the ads on ATS work with legacy codecs.

posted on Apr, 23 2016 @ 04:41 PM

originally posted by: ForteanOrg
Without going into too much detail (I do respect my own privacy) but I'm one of the people that helped build the (public) Internet in the early 1990s. We did NOT have ads. We had VERY high costs.

I was there also.

In 1993, I helped with the Georgetown University Labyrinth Project. I remember the time well. It was mostly systems and content funded by foundations and universities.

Then came 1994, and the first banner ad on HotWired. It changed everything.

Ads are NOT an "essential part of the Internet".

They were not an essential part of the academic Internet you were part of. They are, however, an essential part of the modern Internet that is full if independent content delivered via a massive ecosystem of businesses and individuals that rely on the income generated by digital advertising. The last time (3 years ago) I worked with the IAB on a presentation to congress, nearly 50% of the US "digital content economy" was comprised of sites like ATS or smaller. That's huge, and it means that a myriad of consulting, hosting, management, design, and other outsourcing/freelance individuals and companies rely on the ability for sites like ATS to effectively get revenue from ads.

posted on Apr, 23 2016 @ 08:03 PM
Hi Rocker2013,

originally posted by: Rocker2013....
damaging ATS's chance to use ad delivery services to make money.

Unethical, probably
I would only consider doing this if a webmaster were to ask members to do it.

Please allow me to ask this:

Given that

...our ads pay on visible impressions, not clicks. ...

would an automated script that scrolls/refreshes web pages, without touching the ads,
ethically meet the "visible impressions" requirement?

Technically such a script could launch, display page from bookmark, purge history & cookies, and repeat all night long.

Could such a procedure compensate for the shameful time that a user used an ad blocker?

posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 08:16 AM
I should have thought of this first.

I love ATS, so, in order to support ATS, i can frequently set aside a block of time and MANUALLY, with no automation involved, click onto page after page, making sure all ad blocking is turned off.
And then, on each page, manually scroll to the required "visible impression" location required by the advertiser.
Then I can pause for at least the minimum amount of "dwell" time the advertiser requires, and go on to another page and do the same. Certainly, i can do this while doing other things, watching TV, etc.

Surely, this would meet and exceed the "visible impression" requirements enough to compensate for serious times when a user desires to use an ad blocker. How can it not be legitimate? It's me, the user, hands on the keyboard, doing it.

I think that, universally speaking, a lot of webmasters fail to take into account the reasons that users use ad blockers in the first place. No, I'm not finger pointing.
Reasons for blocking ads are described here

[ ] Intrusive ad formats - There are ads out there which render web sites totally unusable. There are some which dominate content to the point that it's difficult to find what the website is really about. Obnoxious animation comes to mind.
Who owns the website? The website founder or the advertiser? In too many cases the founder and webmaster are subservient to the advertising company. There are advertisers which force the website founder to allow ads contrary to the purpose of the website.

[ ] Limit visual clutter - Same as above

[ ] Speed up Browsing - Important for users not on high performance pipes.

[ ] Privacy - Ads that "phone home" with as much user data as can be gathered.

[ ] Reduce Bandwidth usage. Many ISPs meter and cap users, with penalties for too much monthly bandwidth use.

[ ] Reduce battery use - mobile users.

Are there ways, that a web developer can display ads while respecting the reader? Of course, but the advertising companies won't hear of it. Low bandwidth, static ads, that don't interfere with content, come to mind.

posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 09:09 AM
a reply to: Kandinsky

The entire reason for the OP was that there seems to be at least some doubt about the legality of such "dissuasions" if they involve probing the end user for his "compliance". Apart from that it's bad for ATS karma.

posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 10:05 AM

originally posted by: Adonsa
[ ] Privacy - Ads that "phone home" with as much user data as can be gathered.

Wouldn't those fall under the category of software/scripts that should ask for permission of the user, according to EU laws?

Maybe the ads providers are the ones breaking EU laws/regulations.

edit on 24/4/2016 by ArMaP because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 11:05 AM

originally posted by: Adonsa
I love ATS, so, in order to support ATS, i can frequently set aside a block of time and MANUALLY, with no automation involved, click onto page after page, making sure all ad blocking is turned off.

While this might seem like a valid proposition, in reality, the ad ecosystem works differently.

That image represents the hundreds of companies involved in showing display advertising online. At least 15 of those companies are in place to quantify the value of each potential impression. You, a single user on a single domain, have a value of X for your first handful of impressions. That quickly falls to X/2 on your next page-load, X/5 on your third page load, and X/10 soon thereafter. Real Time Bidding, Demand Side Platforms, Retargeting systems and Ad Exchanges have changed the landscape over the past 2-3 years in order to better quantify the value of impressions for advertisers.

So in reality, if you did that every day for a year, it might mean $10-$15 more for ATS. Not worth it.

Are there ways, that a web developer can display ads while respecting the reader? Of course, but the advertising companies won't hear of it. Low bandwidth, static ads, that don't interfere with content, come to mind.

It's an issue of compromises.

The IAB (disclaimer: I often work with them) is working on a LEAN format for online ads using HTML5. While it's not yet as "lean" as I'd like it to be, it's a step in the right direction, driven by website owners and advertisers.

The issue is that, while everyone seemed to hate Flash, it was a delivery system that allowed exceptionally interactive, animated, and complex ads in a 50-60k package. With HTML5/CSS3, it takes a highly talented (expensive) developer to do the same thing in under 100k with HTML5. So we're in a transitional phase right now.

[ ] Privacy - Ads that "phone home" with as much user data as can be gathered.

This is a fear tactic used in the propaganda put out by ad blocking companies. Two years ago, I was part of TRUSTe's efforts (along with more than a hundred other adtech people) to identify two things in the AdTech ecosystem:
1) Personally identifiable information being passed via digital advertising data streams
2) Occurrences of negative outcomes with subjectively identifiable personal data being passed
(subjectively identifiable personal data is information that includes your IP, Amazon purchases, pages visited, etc.)

The outcome was not what was expected by online privacy advocates: no personally identifiable data showed up in the DMP's (data management platforms), and no reports of actual negative outcomes for #2.

In fact, the DMP's don't care who you are, that's way too granular and beyond anyone's scope. They do care, however, what silos of the type of people you are: married with kids, 20-something that plays video games, fan of Audi cars, reads conspiracy theories, etc.

So when Dentsu runs an ad for Playstation, through Xaxis to find the right impression via MediaMath who got their data from MarketShare who got theirs from BlueKai thanks to retargeting information from AdRoll which was verified as valid by DoubleVerify and passed along to DoubleClick and trafficked to run on 17 ad networks which was then picked up by Rubicon for display on ATS, not one of those companies had any idea who you were, and certainly not ATS who is completely disconnected from the process. You're just data point 87USBI-XKSUT-002016 which at one point was included in a silo of other data points, identified as Playstation fans.

posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 04:02 PM
a reply to: SkepticOverlord

Don't belittle the risk of malvertisements - it is is a very real cyber security threat.

Be aware that site owners might be held responsible for damages caused by malvertisements they refer to on their sites. After all, the end user has no say in what type of content you offer to them - even worse: you INSIST he accepts it. That makes you fully responsible for any problems that might occur.

You should at least scan each ad you retransmit or redirect to, to ensure it does not contain malicious code. If you don't even do that, the end user is left in the hands of 1001 ad companies - and your chart neatly shows what an hornets nest that can be if you try to figure out who's responsible. In such cases, judges probably will go for the simplest solution: the party that caused the malware to load onto the victims computer. That would be you.

posted on Apr, 24 2016 @ 05:32 PM
a reply to: ForteanOrg

Every network we work with has at least two vendors that confirm the quality of the ad creative, and do not work with self-serve exchanges. 99% of dubious quality ads come from self-serve exchanges.

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 05:41 AM
a reply to: SkepticOverlord

It is totally appreciated here how you try to prevent distribution of malvertisements by selecting the "proper" vendors. However, that won't help much if these vendors in turn aren't aware of the malware they distribute. There have been cases of bona fide ad networks that distribute malvertisements nevertheless. Again, you're downplaying the risks, and that's up to you, but be aware that you not only may inadvertently distribute malware, but to add injury to insult, you also INSIST we switch off our main protection against malvertisements: the ad blocker.

Risk is defined as probability times impact. Now, if you're perfectly certain that this may never happen, by all means, your risk is zero. But please be aware of the impact it may have if ATS was ever accused of this.

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 09:12 AM

posted on Apr, 25 2016 @ 10:34 AM
Sigh, adds are f'ing up the world.
I use add block becuse with out it I can Not see the POSTS!
and get annoying sounds.

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