Marketers Freak Out About Mandates To Make Clickstream Tracking Opt-In Only

from the but-what-about-our-data? dept

With all of the fuss finally being raised concerning clickstream tracking by companies like Phorm and NebuAd, there's an effort underway to force ISPs to make any such tracking strictly opt-in. That is, users would have to proactively agree to allow their data to be used in this manner. In response, various marketers are complaining about how much data they would lose, claiming it would be an "armageddon" for the industry. Don't believe them. This is the same thing marketers warned about when the US instituted a "Do Not Call" system, and it's hardly decimated the marketing industry. Instead, it's improved marketing by making firms focus less on intrusive telemarketing and more on useful marketing. The same would happen if ISPs were required to make this an opt-in instead of opt-out setup. It would force the ISPs and companies like Phorm to make sure that the services really benefited customers in meaningful and noticeable ways so that customers would be happy to make use of the services. By whining about an opt-in solution, all these firms are really admitting is that they do not add value to the surfing experience of users.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: clickstream tracking, marketers, opt-in, opt-out
Companies: nebuad, phorm


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 May 2008 @ 4:55am

    It is Armageddon, just like the do not call list

    This opt-in would be and the do not call list is Armageddon for the marketing industry. The current industry state is that large amounts of relatively easy money are made on a garbage quality product. This opt-in, like the do not call list, would change the situation such that the marketing companies would make less money, working harder, delivering an higher quality product. This is difficult for the marketing industry to accept. Remember, the computer user is the product being sold, not the customer. The customer is the mega-corp purchasing marketing data. Sort of an "internal" outsourcing, so to speak. Thus, marketing firms would be fewer, slimmer and more productive. Why, marketing company managers may actually have to manage their company, in order to make a sellable product!

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.