Do Not Track List Won't Make Advertisers Happy

from the resistance-is-futile dept

Just as Facebook is looking to launch its own behavioral advertising network, AOL and some privacy groups are pitching the idea of a "Do Not Track" list that would effectively let people opt-out of behavioral advertising tracking. It's a challenging issue to deal with. Advertisers, obviously, want more data and information about who is viewing their ads, as well as having the ability to better target those ads. At the same time, the theory is that people are much more receptive to highly targeted, relevant ads. The problem, though, is that many internet surfers have no idea how much information they're handing over and how it's being used (and many would argue that the more relevant ads aren't actually appearing). If they knew how much data was being collected, however, many would probably be quite upset. The purpose of the Do Not Track list would be to give them back some control. Advertisers, of course, won't like this idea at all, as they often feel it's their divine right to have as much information as possible. They'll also complain that without this data, advertisements will actually be less relevant and less useful -- which might actually be true. In the end, though, it seems like while a "Do Not Track" may get lots of publicity, but how many people will actually sign up? Certainly I'd expect techies who are more concerned about this kind of thing to sign up -- but the average consumer? Unlike the "Do Not Call" list, most people don't even realize that they're being tracked, and so are much less likely to have the incentive to opt out of being tracked.

Filed Under: advertising, behavioral targeting, do not track
Companies: aol


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  1. identicon
    * Miss Universe, 1 Nov 2007 @ 4:01am

    Just Don't Use The Damn Web

    This effort will not get very far. Since a user is voluntarily entering someone else's property, they are allowing their IPs to be tracked.

    No one can tell you what code to NOT put on your private site - as long as it is not malware or trojans or viruses.

    In other words, your site is your property, you can add whatever code you wish to ad.

    People are entering it out of their own self interest - either for news, resources, knowledge or entertainment.

    In an extreme case - if this does get to court - the worst possible scenario would be to have site owners put an 'IP being tracked for advertising relevancy with cookies' disclaimer on some high profile sites that share info.

    But the truly concerned, already know now to delete cookies or use proxies if they MUST visit.

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