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back to article Online ad body: Let's slather 'opt out' icons everywhere

An advertising icon that explains to internet users about online behavioural advertising (OBA) should be displayed alongside almost every ad regardless of whether they themselves are targeted ads, an industry body has said. Publishers and advertising networks use cookies to track user behaviour on websites in order to target …

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Humbug. Strict opt-in. A summary execution for violations.

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Silver badge

Exactly

'Opt out' is akin to tracking down a stalker and asking them to stop. You shouldn't have to.

Advertisers (or indeed anyone) should have to ask for explicit permission to track you, end of. And that doesn't include squirrelling it away in the sixth page of some terms and conditions that nobody reads.

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Just who gets opted out?

Is it the person or just the PC? If Mrs Wigglebaum opts out at work, will she be opted out when she goes on line at home?

As far as Mrs Wigglebaum knows, she has opted out once and would quite reasonably be expected not to be further bothered.

Maybe the Advertising Standards Authority could comment?

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Pint

Something else adblock will block for me then

Yes, I know, they can still track my IP. Fine. But they'll not get anything else out of me, and I'm damned if I'll look at their opt-out buttons any more than I'll look at their ads.

Besides which, isn't the opt-out link pretty much always a scam to collect more data anyway?

(Beer, because it's time fore the pub now)

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Track your IP?

As I understand it, AdblockPlus (not sure about other blockers) prevents the request to the advertising server in the first place. So although there may be ads hosted on doubleclick.net, ABP identifies these and prevents the request being placed.

Possible other blockers work differently, but I'd have thought this was a logical way of doing things as it stops the ads wasting your bandwidth, and prevents the advertisers from getting your IP

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Facepalm

e-privacy regulations

Best invention eva.

Punishes the legit providers (who have to do some non inconsiderable reworking of their sites), whilst providing no real safety for the user; the dodgy sites aren't gonna bother about this, are they, and it's essentially toothless.

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The mistake made by the EC

was banning the symptom not the problem.

Rather like banning biros, because they are regularly used to write fraudulent cheques, rather than banning fraud.

What they should have outlawed was the unauthorised accumulation of any form of communications data without consent (regardless of the method used).

Then, it wouldn't matter whether cookies were being used or not. And the excuses of the IAB wouldn't matter either.

The EC law is drafted as it is now because the malingering idiots in the IAB attempted to derail any coherent legislation with obfuscation and nonsense.

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----

What they should have outlawed was the unauthorised accumulation of any form of communications data without consent (regardless of the method used).

----

Ummm - that's kinda what they did ... the "cookie law" doesn't specifically relate to cookies but any form of tracking including building user agent/IP address fingerprints or whatever... essentially it's a kick to the Google Analytics nuts. Basically, you're not allowed to track people without their explicit consent unless it's within certain conditions (shopping carts for instance).

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Unhappy

Hypocrisy here?

I have a nagging doubt about the universal display of the icon. Is the IAB really concerned to help consumers as they profess, or could the "show the icon every time" move actually be less nobly intentioned?

Could it, for example, be an attempt to get the icon to become so universal that users blank it out - trying to make it so much "part of the scenery" that consumers stop noticing it?

John Geddes

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Thumb Up

Actually

You have a point here, but I'm not even thinking of the blanking out per-se;

1. I opt out of the behavioural tracking having noticed the icon.

2. I notice that the icon still appears against the ads, "ah well" I think.

3. At some point my cookies get wiped, but I fail to notice that I'm being tracked because the icon was there the whole time anyway and I've already opted out

4. Profit (theirs, at my expense)

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Silver badge

How about opt-in buttons

Why should I have to opt-out?

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Windows

What part of opt in ...

do the IAB not comprehend?

"Freely given, informed, consent".

Not opt outs.

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Silver badge

Wrong

It must be opt-in and only ever, opt-in. End of discussion.

In other news: BigYin Advert Validation Service

I will check your ads for impact, clarity and message delivery. A fee of £1 will be charged per ad and payable on every ad viewed.

If you do not wish to use this service, you may opt-out by contacting me. The display of an ad on my computer screen is presumed to be consent to my terms of service.

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Devil

A quid a time?

You're offering consultancy here. Should ne nearer £50 a pop

Cheapskate

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run your own named/bind9

I host the doubleclick.net domain as a master as well as sedoparking and hosts of others.

Stops so, many adverts including breaking many forced-flash ads.

[root@dieter ~]# cat /var/named/doubleclick.net.hosts

$ttl 38400

doubleclick.net. IN SOA gate.localnet. ....... (

119......

10800

3600

604800

38400 )

doubleclick.net. IN NS gate.localnet.

...

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run your own named/bind9?

Seems a little excessive when you could just add the domains to your hosts file, no need to run a dns server

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People see ads online? what's this nonsense?

Most "savvy" people will have an ad blocker installed and they work almost perfectly now, the only time mine gets turned off is for sites that I visit a lot and am willing to put up with a little advertising to support them (if they don't have a subscription option).

The industry only has itself to blame for people blocking ads by default now, they were the ones that came up with popups, popunders, etc.

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re:

We don't do pop-ups or pop-unders. Or "welcome" ads (page takeovers).

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You do have horrible ads that start of big and then shrink, moving my eye away from what I'm reading though

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Anonymous Coward

It should not be allowed full stop!

I would explicitly deny all tracking for any purpose, and I should have the ability to block them.

@The BigYin totally agree!

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(Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

Re:

Following people without their permission across websites is creepy.

But tracking by IP address <em>within</em> one site... what's wrong with that?

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Abou the same as a PCWorld staffer following you round the store, lookng the whole time over your shoulder.

That's what

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Madness

The EU directive is drawn far too broadly. And yes, I am currently trying to work this out for a content site about 1/40 as busy as this one as part of my job. But I'm also a user who is fine with being tracked to a certain extent as long as companies understand that if it gets too creepy then it'll creep me out and I won't click.

Our online advertising is sold in-house, direct to the advertiser. The advertisers are generally pretty new to online, to the extent that I have to convert a lot of stuff from 'print-ready' PDFs into something we can actually display. No cookies, unless I missed something, apart from our own.

It is amusing to watch the ad industry try to work out how to deal with this massive pain in the arse of a legislation change, nearly a year after it is meant to have come into force.

What is personally driving me up the wall, though, is the complete head-in-the-sand approach of major analytics providers (think Chocolate Factory). They are in the plainly daft situation of advocating a 'wait-and-see' approach when their product is already technically non-compliant if installed as recommended.

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Silver badge

Ads?

What are these things you call "ads"?

My computer, my rules.

EOF

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