New Survey: Online Privacy, Internet Advertising and The Independent Web

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posted on May, 13 2011 @ 05:40 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


I think you know that a lot of us arent very cookie savvy. And we ARE influenced by what we hear.

I know that when I am on the internet, the advertising has lately targetted me specifically based on my browsing and buying habits and I find it offensive and creepy. It lends credibility to the claims that cookies are evil spyware, tracking your every move and aggregating it.

Im not for that. General targetting of ads to various groups, like running ads for investment funds on Sunday morning news shows, or ads for cash for gold during day time hours when all the unemployed or underemployed are home, fine. (Your TV example) But when my TV starts to only show advertisements for products I buy, or alternate brands of items I buy, Im chucking the TV out the _ (Actually just the cable, I will keep the TV for watching DvDs.)

I really dont want anything tracking me to the degree that it is creating ads based on something I have googled in the last day or two. Its too much. Its too invasive, and I personally want that level of intrusiveness banned.




posted on May, 13 2011 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 

Interesting and important topic SO, but I found that some of the questions were not as cut and dry as to conform to an "agree or disagree" response.

This issue is multi-faceted and it was tough to vote when the context of the questions/statements could produce conflicting responses.

Thanks, cant wait to see the results!



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:01 PM
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No one with a shred of understanding about surveys will give the slightest attention to your results, because of the uber obvious leading nature of most of the questions. Your poll will prove nothing. I reviewed the whole thing, and decided not to answer any of it. I will not be so obviously used and manipulated.

I understand your situation, but like the other poster believe that the sky will not cave in if this type of aggressive tracking is outlawed. It should be! There will still be ways for you to make money, just not this way.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:07 PM
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reply. to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Thank you for the information and I look forward to taking the survey which is a good new function addition to ATS. I also appreciate you continuing to share details about this issue.

Off the bat, I want to add that legislation should have to have a number and not be allowed a "name" that can, in and of itself, completely mislead those who vote and their constituents on what the document actually says. Often times, the name is presented as the exact opposite of what the proposed law enacts. Odd, but it happens. It's like a misleading name is the first line of defense in legislative action. Looking into this "do not track" wording and understanding as users of the internet, what it means is important.

When you have a moment, would you add links for these, if already available?


The current form of the proposed "do not track" legislation and similar draft bills circulating through Washington has the very real potential to decimate the ability for independent websites to survive by severely limiting their ability to derive revenue from advertising.


Also, more on the Interactive Advertising Bureau folks...and everyone's concerns on these proposed legislative drafts, if summarized somewhere.

And even links to these would be great...


Some of the recent studies I've seen associate nearly 8 million salaried jobs that are directly related to the online publishing economy -- ranging from the publishers to server-jockeys that keep the sites running. Some of the same studies associate another 17 million people (in the US) who either derive some income from the online economy, or their jobs indirectly relate to the online economy (broader scale online economy, not just publishing).

It's a massive interconnected economy that would take a serious hit if the wrong legislation goes into effect.
.

It's great that you have established an active thread to do, what ATS does best, get to the bottom of issues through discussion and research, on what seems an important topic. I look forward to learning more about this.

Thanks in advance for the help.

DWW
edit on 13-5-2011 by DancedWithWolves because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:11 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Nothing could be more important than this discussion and the owners trip with others to Washington, D.C. I can understand the concern about spiders, bots, surveillance...but this is so much bigger. The usual huge multinationals (corporations) are trying to take over the web and this is what should scare the begeesus out of us all and NOT a few spiders you can cleanup with a scan!

If the powers that be can frighten you all with marketing spiders... they can say that a large multinational corporation "...must take on the web..." to help finance these smaller to mid-size websites. I have been in these rooms! I ask you , who is the purveyor of fear? Its not the site owners of ATS.com. Its a thinly veiled takeover attempt again through lobbyists to control the internet. It is a thinly veiled attempt to control profits and investments. Rent "Wall Street" tonight. Same thing only worse. Many of us worked very hard to stop the Verizon/Google merger, maybe you all did too. The battle is still raging on...

Virtual space is everybody's space. Please take the middle ground and fight the large corporations, they want complete control of yet another form of communication and community among humans. We can say "NO!". Balls to the wall! The interwebs are worth billions, do not let it go for the price of good viral software.

Please go to this site and subscribe. Save the Internet



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:28 PM
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I'll say this...

This isn't about ATS or it's ability to survive and sustain itself should such type POO and by "POO" I mean something worse than poo, like something you accidentally step in and it pisses you off and you curse the neighbors dog, or maybe your own dog and then you think to yourself, "what if I had an elephant instead of a dog" at which point you're thrilled you have a dog and not an elephant and you aren't pissed at your neighbor anymore and you forget that you were ever inclined to post $h!t or any other unacceptable derivative of the profane for feces which is commonly known as the opposite of shinola but I digress... of move to the floor for vote ... or pass, even.

THIS IS ABOUT YOU. THE INDIVIDUAL. BLOGGER. JOURNALIST. ARTIST. YOU NAME IT.

How's that going to pan out for those thousands [if not tens of or millions] of folks who rely upon their sites/blogs/journal/et-cetera's ad revenues to sustain/fuel their efforts for the time put forth and into such?

*an all too convenient way by which to basically silence, render insignificant/disregard 'unincorporated' voices, IMO*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

if ALLOWED to pass, or even be placed on the floor for vote, lemme know how much that email cost you to send a year or three from now.




:shk:
edit on 5/13/2011 by Mirthful Me because: Fecal truncation for the betterment of all mankind and one poo flinging simian...



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:36 PM
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Originally posted by angelchanneller

If the powers that be can frighten you all with marketing spiders... they can say that a large multinational corporation "...must take on the web..." to help finance these smaller to mid-size websites.


You may well be right. SO may well be right. This legislation MAY be a way the huge powers are locking out smaller voices.

The burden for informing the general public has to be on the people who understand the issue, and, most importantly, make their living from it. Like I said before, more than once, no one made it easier for us to believe that these spiders, bots ,etc., are the bad guys out to get us than those profiting from them with their cavalier and arrogant disregard for our concerns. IF we are natural allies in this issue, (meaning our best interests fall on the same side of the issue) THEN they should not have been treating us like resources to be plundered at will, and mocking us, in many cases, for our complaints.

You forget, its not just the "PTB" who are goading us to action. They are just exploiting our very real existing displeasure with the advertising practices and information gathering practices on the internet. Its not what they are telling me about cookies that has me upset. Its that I SEE with my own eyes ads for random crap I have googled popping up. I dont need the PTB to tell me someone is watching my movements on the internet, I can see that for myself, and I dont like it.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 06:55 PM
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I believe people have been grossly mislead in what the real threats are to their online security. While I don't appreciate tracking cookies, I do realise most of them are tailored for advertising and are indeed anonymous in nature.

What concerns me more is malware that alters my browser and takes a big load on my bandwith. In other words the problem is not cookies but rather poorly designed, unsolicited software that installs during drive by downloads. Any respectable anti-malware software can deal with this and anti-virus software will deal with worms and/or viruses.

As always the government of america is misinformed(at least) about technology or to be more specific is actually alligned with madison avenue hackers to promote big business monopolies. Antivirus companies and antimalware companies are known to release virii and malware respectively to support their existance in the first place. There are not that many bored, unemployed college students with malicious intent so again *problem, reaction, solution*.

I have been using computers long enough to know fact from fiction. I have also been a frequent alternative site user as well. Cheers and good luck ATS! We need an independent web more than ever before!



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 07:18 PM
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I don't like the way this survey is worded - it is not asking for opinion - it is asking for concent and acknowledgement!

Posing questions in the form:
"I am aware..."
"I have been aware..."
"I am willing..."

It is more like an agreement or contract if you ask me.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 07:27 PM
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reply to post by Illusionsaregrander
 


Well...funny you should mention that. I have, with others more brilliant than I, come up with a model for a website with no obvious commercial advertising. It is based on the commitment of each community member to support the websites marketing. We only did this one time. We used a clothing accessory by a little known designer. Questions for the men, how would you like your lady in this...etc. and for the women blah blah blah, always at the end though, the marketing test taker got a gift. We would not take on a firm that did not offer a gift to our members. You could not be a member of the community if you did not understand our marketing and profit model...it was the "dawn of man" branding model (over ten years ago) and the members had to deal with it. Since we were marketing art films it was not for everybody. But the one study worked.

The site was not littered with someone elses tastes in art or writing and the companies got solid returns and the members got goodies. Later on we found that the members could actually, to some extent, pick the advertisers. Also from that came sub-communities, like the forums here on ATS. So an advertiser could come to management and say I want to test this, but.. just on the art films in the genre for dramas with a female lead or whatever....

The point is...you want something like this site or any other on this planet to stand alone free and unfettered...it costs. So you can support these advertisers or you can support another model. But, if you do not, you not only get inept government officials ala the Gulf, Katrina, Goldman Sachs or whatever...you get the biggest b*stards in corporations on the planet in your face every time you boot up.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 07:47 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 

Hey Skeptic. I don't know very much on this subject, but I gave it a shot. I realize you folks have to pay the bills. I checked 1 box neutral, because I couldn't find a DON"T KNOW box. I've never seen anything of interest in an ad, anywhere, and even if I did, I wouldn't click it, because I think, this is where problems would start.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 07:50 PM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


Overlord, I appreciate the survey no matter what any one else says. Here's why. I started an online newspaper in early 1990. I sold advertisements for local businesses and fielded questions like "What's an internet" and "Why would I waste my money?". But I sold advertising. Of course we're many years later and it is what it is at this point.

So here we are and now I get to voice my opinion here at ATS. Google and it's analytic cookies needs to be shut down. Period. When people follow me too close while I'm driving, they get the brake light kill switch and the anti-locks. Same with Google.

The internet is for information sharing. It was never intended for a corporate platform. Shut down Google. Corporate sites should be on a separate network. Any idiot would figure that out but we're surrounded by idiots, aren't we?



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 08:11 PM
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reply to post by billxam
 


The idiots are the advertisers who are willing to kill the goose thats laying the golden eggs because they are too greedy, too pushy, and too arrogant.

You cant blame the masses on this one. Marketers are supposedly SOOOOOOOO good at discerning the wants and tailoring the message to the people, how on Earth did they miss all the complaining we have been doing about the pushiness and invasiveness of their lastest information gathering techniques?

And people like you make me want to burn down the barn. I like the internet, I appreciate the internet, but many of us contribute to the internet for free. Not everyone contributing quality is taking a cut of the action. I pay to get on, its not free to me to play here. ATS is free, and so is a lot of the stuff I do, but I pay for content when I game, when I subscribe to science journals, etc.

The current model is not the only possible one. And if they outlaw tracking, SOMEONE will figure out a way to make money anyway. It just might not be the single minded arrogant people who have been ignoring the signs all along the way that there was a storm brewing.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 11:09 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
Im just not convinced "the way we do it now is the only way it can be done." In other words, advertising on websites evolved to take advantage of the laws at the time. If we change the laws to prevent tracking, Im not convinced this will result in a doomsday scenario.


Indeed.. and well said.

Revenue from online advertising is a two tiered system (in simplistic terms). The first tier is regular income from the adds themselves. The second tier is the sale of data obtained from tracking cookies. Regular advertising often flirts with the boundaries of ethical behaviour (as a designer I work within marketing departments so I know first hand no matter what anyone else tries to tell you). The selling of personal data, (browsing history) whether it be assigned to a name or an alpha numeric 'identifier' clearly breaches the privacy of the individual whether they be aware of such technologies or not. They are both predatory, parasitical and fundamentally unethical. Only those with vested interests will tell you differently.

IRM
edit on 13/5/11 by InfaRedMan because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 11:43 PM
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Originally posted by InfaRedMan
Revenue from online advertising is a two tiered system (in simplistic terms). The first tier is regular income from the adds themselves. The second tier is the sale of data obtained from tracking cookies.

Actually, that's not true. And you can trust my experience here as I ran a rather large online advertising department (media planning & creative) at an NYC agency before leaving that all behind to devote my time to ATS.

The "data" from cookies set by online advertising networks is rather minimal. 90% of the time, the data is merely used internally and anonymously by the ad serving software to ensure you don't receive too many repeat ads during the course of a 24 hour period. The other 10% of the time (and the algorithms of the ad networks hope to increase that percentage) there is some level of specific targeted.

The targeting could be as simplistic as you visited a movie website, so give this guy movie ads. Or as complex as this guy searched for Sony video cameras on B&H photo, so give him ads for Sony video cameras.

The more complex targeting (the B&H example) requires some level of integrated sharing between the e-commerce website and the ad network. And that's where the "data" has value -- B&H photo will pay the ad network much more for a highly targeted ad than they will for a general ad.

Since the data that's collected is non-personal and anonymous, there's no value in the raw information beyond what can be used to target ads that sell for a higher price.




The selling of personal data, (browsing history) whether it be assigned to a name or an alpha numeric 'identifier' clearly breaches the privacy of the individual whether they be aware of such technologies or not.

Ad networks don't have any personal data to sell.

E-commerce websites (and offline brick & mortar stores), on the other hand, do have a wealth of valuable demographic and psychographic data for sale.



posted on May, 13 2011 @ 11:48 PM
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Originally posted by Illusionsaregrander
Marketers are supposedly SOOOOOOOO good at discerning the wants and tailoring the message to the people, how on Earth did they miss all the complaining we have been doing about the pushiness and invasiveness of their lastest information gathering techniques?

Can you explain the invasiveness of online advertising information gathering techniques?

For the most part, the angst and paranoia is based on misinformation and purposeful disinformation on the part of big media and anti-virus firms.

Don't get me wrong, there needs to be change, but the anger is purposefully and expertly misplaced. For example, while you're expressing your ire regarding the non-personal tracking of a non-identifying cookie, it's perfectly legal for supermarkets to sell your credit card purchase history without your consent, and also perfectly legal for your Congressman to use your IRS and Census records to send you highly-targeted direct mail advertisements for their re-election. Both are a much more serious violation of your privacy -- without your consent -- than could ever happen from a cookie on your computer.

(And don't get me started about the data sold by the motor vehicles department, or the utilities' smart meters.)
edit on 13-5-2011 by SkepticOverlord because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 12:39 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


No doubt, this is being written in a slimey way to benefit the establishment and screw the only free press remaining. I have not read the leglislation to know what they are up to, but will take your word for it. I don't like the government taking control over (regulating) the internet in any way, to any degree. They despise not being in control of information, thought and discussions through the Soros media and Fox.

If the government is so worried about privacy, they have some looking in their own back yard to do. It would be nice if we could still have the political and judicial elite recognize the constitution! It is the law of the land and they are regularly violating the law. Scoundrels.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 06:31 AM
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I'm very sorry, I really am, but I think ATS is just throwing out a loaded dice here. I hope you get the results your after ATS, if not, I suppose you can change the numbers anyway. You want the site to make money, thats fine too. You can turn the site into a 'pics of poodles' if you really wanted too. The point is it IS your site! Go ahead, do what you please.

But to me, and by the look of where the majority of stars on posts are falling, it appears there is a large group of us who don't just dislike ads, but despise them. Can you imagine a creepy Red-Green-and-Blue Google man following you in the shadows as you borrow a book in a library, and then when you've left they go to the librarian and take all your borrowing history with them? Stalking is considered wrong and illegal in real life, it should somehow be applied to the laws of the net.

I do feel for you, the site is huge, and that costs money, but a loaded survey has let me down.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 08:15 AM
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Originally posted by SkepticOverlord

Can you explain the invasiveness of online advertising information gathering techniques?


I thought I did. I dont want ads that target me based on where I have been on the internet, or what I have googled. Its too specific, and it feels like I am being watched and stalked, and I dont have a paranoid personality. In other words, I dont always feel that way. I feel that way when ads target me in such a way that I know, beyond a doubt, that MY personal internet habits are being used to target ME.


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
For the most part, the angst and paranoia is based on misinformation and purposeful disinformation on the part of big media and anti-virus firms.


I think you have it a little backwards. Cookies have been around for ages. Way back in 2000 in MY marketing class, (Although it wasnt my major, I only had to take the one for my core) my teacher spent time teaching us how to eliminate them, and HE felt they were an invasion of privacy. We all know how marketing works. We know it IS an attempt to bypass your rational mind, and compel you to do things you might not otherwise do. Buy what you dont really need, etc. Marketing and advertising on its own IS a shady area to begin with, trying to use your psychology against you, for the gain of a third party and for its own gain as well.

I dont need someone else to tell me that when my internet moves are being tracked, my googling habits being tracked, that this amounts to letting the advertisers and marketers right into my head. Its like letting them become mind readers, not just body language interpreters.


Originally posted by SkepticOverlord
For example, while you're expressing your ire regarding the non-personal tracking of a non-identifying cookie, it's perfectly legal for supermarkets to sell your credit card purchase history without your consent, and also perfectly legal for your Congressman to use your IRS and Census records to send you highly-targeted direct mail advertisements for their re-election. Both are a much more serious violation of your privacy -- without your consent -- than could ever happen from a cookie on your computer.


It sure doesnt feel that way. And I can opt out of that at grocery stores by not using their little cards, and paying in cash not credit or debit. And what industry is responsible for supermarkets doing that in the first place? Or politicians? Yep. You guessed it. The same one who is forcing tracking cookies down our throats online. Advertising and marketing. Are you trying to prove they are evil, unethical jerks with no regard for your privacy? Because thats MY argument.

I mind less when its groceries, also. I honestly dont understand why people like yourself dont see that there is a difference between aggregating data about the things you consider "public" like groceries, and tracking your interests and thoughts, the things you search out on the net. And you may say, "Well, there is no privacy on the net, you SHOULD consider it all public." And I would say, "Ah ha. Now you get it. We dont want it to be."

I was ignoring cookies and just going through and pulling them out regularly, and opting out to the degree I could, etc. etc., until they started their targeted advertising. And thats the point at which I hit the boil over point. I dont want it. You and everyone else in the business can talk at me until you are blue in the face about how it shouldnt bother me. The fact is, it does. I will write whatever letters it takes, I will do whatever it takes, to make it stop. Companies that use tracking COULD offer people like me, those of us MOST unhappy, a way to opt out. Because I am willing to bet a lot of people will remain in. And we could ALL be happy. Or, they can shove it down our throats until we become active and start petitioning our politicians to get it to stop. It seems like they chose option two.

This kind of advertising is ruining the internet for me, why should I care if my fighting back ruins the internet for them? When people get angry enough to go to war, they usually dont care if one of both parties die on the battlefield.

I hear all this drama about how if people arent making tons of money from ads there will be no blogs, no artists, and to that I say bull. Ive been on the internet long enough to know that there were bloggers before you made money off blogging. The ads came after, to exploit the popularity of the blog. People will do what they really love for free. They may not do it full time. The money making aspect of advertising has caused people to do all sorts of things that degrade the quality of the net just to ramp up traffic and thus revenue.

There is no natural point at which advertisers will use good judgment and some concern for the feelings of people and stop their relentless push into our lives. We have to make them stop, or it will go on, and on, and on, like it has.



posted on May, 14 2011 @ 09:18 AM
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reply to post by SkepticOverlord
 


How about sites having a seperate link at the top, side or bottom saying click here for advertising???

This way those who want to see advertising for goods can click on it to go to the advertising sites and then click further links from there etc etc....






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