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back to article Online advertisers team up on privacy principles

Advertisers and agencies in the US have promised to create a code of practice to allay fears about increasingly intrusive forms of online advertising. Four major advertising trade associations said that they will work together on self-regulation. The American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA), the Association of …

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Great Idea...

Let the wolves regulate the wolves. I won't eat any of your livestock honest guv. FAIL

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Linux

Screw them

I have ads AdBlocked, NoScripted and Flashblocked into oblivion.

If they hadn't started with pop-ups, large (often flashing) graphics and other crap that ruins a website; then I may not have done so. So I care not one whit about the privacy policy; their scripts and their cookies never get here (even Google is blocked).

Penguin - 'cuz you have no other FOSS logo.

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Burn them all to death

by self regualate, they mean "Find new ways to do the same thing, makeing it sound better"

All we need is a ground war in Asia to cull our populations to below the level that our society produces parasites like these.

They even prey on each other, how many organsisations all doing the same thing?

Na, hand to hand combat with physical weapons in some 3rd world country will do the trick

The Human Race needs to clean up its act and either kill them all or find a way to target their excess population to our advantage.

Maybe sacrifise them all to all the Gods we can think of? One of them may be real.

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I've got a great idea...

Lets put the fox in charge of the hen house!

...after all what have you got to lose? well apart from your personal privacy, and its not like these business would be take advantage of the opportunity to build a concise profile of your personality, if it meant that they could charge more eh?

yep the hen house is fucked unless the animals take over.

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Oz
Black Helicopters

Epic fail waiting to happen?

And when it does, let's hope the US government, etc actually have the balls to stand up to these scavengers. It's best not to follow the UK government example and pretend it's all ok, because secretly "we can use that information to our own gain".

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Alert

Self regulation = No regulation

As the recent financial stuff that has been going on clearly shows!

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In other news

...Gary Glitter to open a nursery school.

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Stop

I thought they were already Responsible Advertisers!?!

Look where their "Responsible Marketing Methods!*!!" have already got us!

Just like the Banks etc if Proper "Legal Frameworks" as well as "Strong Industrial Practices" are not put in place the TRUST level will go even further down which does not bode well for "Any Economy" at the moment!

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Happy

Title

Sorry, but that "code" does not include the basics

1) Intrusive advertising should be explicitly opt-in

2) Anyone gathering any information on a user should have to have their express consent

3) Permission for 1 and 2 must be explicitly given by the user in a simple, clear form, not buried in a EULA or small print.

4) Any attempt to use, mine or research using the database must be approved by all persons who have had information gathered. Each time a request is made - blanket approval cannot be given.

5) Any advertising exec breaking rules 1-4 will have their database servers inserted forcibly in a place that makes any attempt to read any gathered data extremely unpleasant and then destroyed using the "which?" method of disk destruction (probably going to be fatal for the exec, but hey, they deserve no less)

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@ Big Yin

@ Big Yin

That's all well and good but you might want to read up on how Phorm works, you might not see the ads but if you were with an ISP that is in bed with Phorm your browsing would still be spied upon.

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Shame

that the Golgafrincham B Ark is merely the subject of fiction.

With self regulation there is little if any trust, with government regulation would I trust them more? Er, No.

As the Big Yin has suggested Adblock and NoScript are wonderful addons.

Blocking (for the UK) *.doubleclick.net*, *.quantserve.com*, *.atdmt.com*, *.adbrite*, ads.*, adserver.*, *googlesyndication* and *google-analytics* at least. Not accepting cookies if it can be helped, and never accepting 3rd party cookies will stop the vast majority of the invasive and privacy compromising elements of the Internet.

Some people like seeing advertisements, for me one is too many.

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Omissions say more

"The FTC said in its report, though, that behavioural advertising is important because it allows companies to provide consumers with free content, but warned that consumers must be informed of its use."

The free content that they are so worried about is soon to be financed by harvesting the content which some e-businesses have spent a great deal of money putting out onto the internet.

If the ad networks can't get enough sites to sign up to the privacy invading scripts to make a profit why should they think teaming up with ISP networks (BT, VirginMedia and TalkTalk according to the OIX network) that are happy to install DPI systems which are effectively using scripts that are stealing content from a few more sites is going to improve the situation? Don't they know how much copyright infringement costs? - in the USA there are minimum damages set just to make life easier for the claimant.

Even publishers hosting the ad network scripts are starting to look at the value of their own copy:

http://www.agoravox.com/article.php3?id_article=9158

And, if you have a read of http://www.thepomoblog.com/mar262008.html#espn you will discover that "... the mega-sports division of Disney has decided that its page views are far too valuable to sell them off this way"

Meanwhile, it is the advertisers and the consumers who purchase the advertised products who are paying with their hard earned money. For a few consumers to have their privacy violated along the route seems much too high an aditional price to pay.

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Coat

A good VPN Service will bypass Phorm Completely!

I think I'll send BT a bill for the VPN Service I'm using because of their "illegal profiler" which keeps attaching itself to my Connection!

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(Written by Reg staff)

pfft

People are so smug and lofty and dramatic and human-rights-ish about ads. 'If I see one ad for anything then I have to poke out my own eyes and eat them.' Do you? Really? Do you think about these things at all beyond your own mild irritation?

I don't block any ads, personally, and rarely find I'm bothered by them - just some of the more fiddly ones that are far too easy to accidentally expand, and even then I really don't feel the urge to go on a shouty rampage to the internet insisting that this evil must end. I appreciate that ad revenue pays for a lot of the stuff that I'd otherwise have to pay for, and I don't think it's that high a price to have a few things waved in front of my nose when I visit a website (although of course if it's beset with pop-ups then I'll go elsewhere). But then, people have different tolerance levels. I suppose mine must be high to the point of obliviousness... wait, that can't be right.

Ech.

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Coat

Surprised...

....that the word 'robust' was not used by the bottom feeders. Usually an indicator that it's anything but.

Instead however, we have 'principles'. In this case it means ' a set of noble sounding guidelines that we have no intention of following if it interrupts our pursuit of the filthy lucre'.

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Stop

Crap on the screen?

People who are so fanatical about never having any crap on their screen are probably making their first mistake when they click teh intertube icon.

Advertisers self-regulating on the web is just stupid - let em have a free-for-all.

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@Sarah Bee:pfft

"People are so smug and lofty and dramatic and human-rights-ish about ads. 'If I see one ad for anything then I have to poke out my own eyes and eat them.' Do you? Really?"

No, but I do think of poking out the advertisers eyes, sauteing them in a nice garlic butter with some panther cap mushrooms and and feeding them to the marketeers whom employ them.

"Do you think about these things at all beyond your own mild irritation?"

No, should I? I guess I do a little bit... Eliminate Internet advertising and most of the chaff would disappear from the WWW. If a website has content which is worthy of note, a website such as The Register, I would have no problem in paying an annual subscription. If a third rate website went under because people were unwilling to pay for the content then so be it.

Advertising is so ubiquitous these days, most people do not see it as an invasion of their psyche. I just don't want the visuals or jingles from products I do not want nor care about inside my head, even if only for an instant. Those neural pathways that are forged by exposure to advertising are wasted, perhaps never to be employed for useful purpose. Even the tinfoil hat doesn't help protect from mind control via the optical nerve or auditory canal.

Just as advertisers feel they have a right to expose the public to products EVERYWHERE, often in the most attention grabbing and invasive ways imaginable, I feel I have a right to prevent my exposure to such wherever and whenever possible. A right which I will continue to actively pursue. There is a feeling of satisfaction I get when I successfully block an avenue of advertising TPS, MPS, Adblock, NoScript which would never be equaled by seeing or hearing that which I have blocked.

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@ sarah bee

concidering some of the pepol you have to put up with on here I would say you have a very hi tolrance

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Anonymous Coward

@ pfft

It is only 3rd party ads that people feel they need to block. As those adverts can be hosting scripts that may be doing something injurious to the computer or harvesting personal data that we would rather keep private. Everyone has different awareness settings by which they minimise perceived risks.

Sites that host ads don't get their ads blocked.

Just because you are complacent about the inherent risks in 3rd party content does not give you an excuse to belittle the response of those who are more experienced with the seriousness of the risk than you are. (Have you noticed how even the police now only work in pairs and are wearing knife jackets while Joe Public goes about in t-shirts? Protected by ignorance, perhaps, but still the victim of knife crime.)

It is not the adverts that people don't want so you are with the crowd in that. If it were there would be some very unhappy shareholders and your ability to discover content hosted on the internet would be severely restricted.

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@sarah bee

Mmm. And you're OK with deep packet inspection, then? Regardless?

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re: Sarah Bee's pfft

Sarah,

I don't think it's the ads per se that bother people - you can block them if you wish.

For me it's the feeling of being profiled and monitored for everything i do. A far as i'm concerned, what i do is my business. Information about what I do is not yours to sell at a profit to someone else, unless I explicitly consent to it.

The thing that irks a lot of people is that companies like Phorm just assume that it is and 'take' what they like.

(El)Fatbob

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Unhappy

Clueless non regulation....

"every web site where data is collected for behavioral advertising should provide a clear, consumer-friendly, and prominent statement that data is being collected to provide ads targeted to the consumer and give consumers the ability to choose whether or not to have their information collected for such purpose"

How the hell is THAT going to work when the ads are delivered by the likes of Google who won't tell you what they do? (And before anyone starts, you can replace Google with any number of alternatives who do similar things once you put three or four lines of script on your page to get their feed.)

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RW
Dead Vulture

@ Sarah Bee

Google "zap annoying media" for a half-way house between all ads and no ads. It gets rid of all the annoying animated gifs, flashlets, etc.

But I admit that Firefox with Adblock-Plus is simpler to use and gives a cleaner result.

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Intrusive Advertising

I block ads for the same reason as the BigYin, because I found the pop-ups and flashing ads to be objectionable. Of course, this then made me aware of the bigger issues of privacy and tracking of browsing habits, so the ad people have only themselves to blame for the fact that I do my best to stomp on any attempt to track what I'm doing. On the bright side, it's also helped make me more aware that governments do the same thing, and while they have access to techniques that advertisers shouldn't, it does instil a certain level of net hygiene to make it more difficult for them. Given the number of trojans and other nastyware that have been propagated via hacked ad servers, blocking them on principle is also good security practice.

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ASA is a industry self regulatory body

You know how us geeks don't like the use of "unlimited" and how it gets bandied about to sell broadband services? You know how there has been complaints (real and on-line rants) about it near constantly since ISPs stopped doing unlimited accounts, and started with their AUPs and other such BS?

The reason why this still flies is that the advertising industry in the UK is self regulated. The ASA in not governmental, and is totally funded by the advertising industry. And it is clear from things like on-line comments that many people think the ASA is real regulation. It is not, and people must be made aware of it. If you have a problem with an advert, go straight to OFCOM.

Funded by the ad industry really means funded by the customers of the ad industry, and these days communication is very profitable to advertisers. It is no wonder that "unlimited" is still used.

It makes you wonder what other industries routinely lie and the ASA let it fly. There's a lot of car insurance ads on British TV, I wonder just how BS-packed they are?

These days I even mute the TV when the adverts come on. Since the whole volume thing with TV ads, you'll end up reaching for the remote to turn the volume down during ads.... why not just hit mute (or pause on a PVR)?

And muting the TV adverts really makes the mindless consumers identify themselves. Several times I have muted a TV when a friend of a friend is in the room, and the question of why the sound has gone off varies from just an gormless inquiry to plain hostility!

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