stories filed under: "clickstream"
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Apr 17th 2008 11:48pm
With growing concerns over companies like Phorm and NebuAd enabling ISPs to insert their own ads into your web surfing, some researchers decided to see if this is already happening -- and were surprised to find it more prevalent than they expected. It's still not a huge number, but in tests, they found that there definitely are some ISPs already using such technology to inject ads, though they tend to be smaller "no name" ISPs. The one big exception was XO Communications -- though XO claims that any ad injections must be done by downstream resellers of its wholesale service. Either way, this ought to raise some questions about what rights ISPs have to get in the middle and alter the data that you requested and which was served by a third party.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Apr 16th 2008 9:09pm
from the and-how-would-that-work-exactly? dept
While the "Do Not Call" list in the US has mostly been successful (with some glaring exceptions) in cutting down on intrusive telemarketing calls, it has kicked off a somewhat annoying trend for consumer groups to demand all sorts of other "Do Not X" lists. Popular for a while was the idea of a "Do Not Spam" list, which most folks realized would be almost impossible to administer. Now, some consumer groups are pushing for a similar "Do Not Track" list, following all of the recent stories about behavioral marketing and clickstream tracking. This list would, its proponents claim, let people opt-out of allowing advertisers to track them. Again, though, this idea would be nearly impossible to manage in real life. In most cases, advertisers have no real idea of who they're tracking anyway -- so it's difficult to see how one would "opt-out" of such data collection in the first place. It would seem that a much more efficient (and effective) solution is to just let the technology evolve to the point that users can block such tracking activities on their own. In many cases, that's already possible. On top of that, as companies like Phorm are discovering, the public outcry against even the possibility of doing something bad concerning clickstream tracking will hopefully keep these firms in check.