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back to article One in two punters don't mind cookie-spewing stalking ads

Nearly half of UK internet users are happy for advertisers to track their online activity in order to deliver more targeted ads, according to new survey figures. As many as 45 per cent of 2,001 internet users aged 16 or over said they were happy for advertisers to track their online behaviour in order to deliver personalised ads …

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And the cognizant ...

... block all advertising by reflex. But idiots abound.

Advertising only exists to provide a living to advertisers.

::shrugs::

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Anonymous Coward

One in two don't mind. Must be visually impaired.

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Re: And the cognizant ...

>Advertising only exists to provide a living to the operators of the Web site that you are using.

Fixed that for you. Personally, if I'm using a Web site gratis and its providing a useful service, I'm usually happy for it to display ads to me. In the last 10 years, I've probably clicked on 3, but I think the concept of ad-supported Web sites is a fair one.

I use Ad block vary rarely on sites that use particularly obnoxious ads - eye watering flashing monstrosities. The rest - I don't mind

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JDX
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Re: And the cognizant ...

>>But idiots abound.

Translation: if you don't agree with me you're an idiot because clearly I can't be wrong. Good to know those stereotypes about computer geeks being arrogant are being upheld.

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@AC 08:06

One in two (or more) are probably not clear on the concept ...

Visual ability has nothing to do with this ...

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Re: And the cognizant ...

Whatever.

I block advertising for the simple reason that advertising doesn't actually help me. It's bloody useless. I already know where to purchase Levis, tampons, cheese & beer.

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Thumb Up

Re: And the cognizant ...

@jake

Exactly! And if you don't know where to get XYZ, it's easy enough to start looking at which point I'll be more receptive to adverts until then, ADBlock and FlashBlock stay installed!

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Stop

Include me in the ten percent.

Block everything; pay for what I need.

Including, should it become necessary, vulture central. Though we'll discuss an adequate level of compensation at some other time.

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Drain on society

Advertisers only know what they're doing within their own frame of reference. Outside of that they are utterly incapable of providing a useful service. Targeted ads are just another example of something that doesn't work, but the advertisers are not cognizant of that.

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Re: Drain on society

You utter prat. Of course targeted ads work. They can trivially measure how well targeted vs non-targeted ads work based on click-through and conversions.

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Re: Drain on society

The trouble is, the ads aren't actually targeted ...

Who is the utter prat now?

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Re: Drain on society

Targeted ads are targeted, that's why they are named as such. Which part don't you get? Maybe some people's algorithms are bad but claiming the concept of "targeted ads" doesn't target ads is absurd.

Hence I get ads for computer equipment and you get ads for Idiots Guide books.

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Re: Drain on society

I beg to differ. "Targeted ads" were annoying, because I never wanted anything I ever was "targeted" with by the marketards. As a direct result, I aggressively block on-line advertising ... which in turn saves everyone some bandwidth.

That's why you are getting ads for "Comprehending Written English for Dummies", and I'm getting ... well, I'm not getting any online ads at all.

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You can't see them following you, SO IT IS NOT REAL.

Obviously. I take every step to keep on top of these horrible advertisers, with adblocks, redirect blocks, cookie management, LSO management, opting out as many as possible.

Bet I am still on a dozen lists in spite of that though [and then some probably]

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Meh

Didnt even realise I was being tracked

I never realised how much I was being tracked until I installed AVG free 2012 which has a built in "do not track" add on for my web browser. I reckon about 33% of websites issue these tracking cookies and I wasn't even aware... Given the choice, I'd choose not to let them track me as its non of their business what I get up to online.

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Anonymous Coward

For another way of coming to the same realisation...

... try setting your browser to ask permission for cookies every time and then go surfing. Some of the big popular ad-heavy websites you'll see that you have to click 'Deny' as many as thirty or forty times while the page and all its embedded adverts load.

I don't tend to bother with those sites. There are always plenty of others out there and I waste enough goddam' time on the internet as it is!

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Anonymous Coward

That's great an anouncement non the 18th!

Trying to get any information out of the ICO on this issue which is useful and meaning full to the average client is very difficult.

The announcement on the 18th May where further detail about the way the watchdog is planning to enforce the new laws are likely to emerge; is just a week before the enforcement date.

Bureaucracy at its best!

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MJI
Silver badge

As before they killed their own industry

We were OK with

Banner ads non animated

Side ads - if not large

Small ads within an article

IF relevant to the article

------------------------------------------------------------

How they killed it

Animated adverts

Popups

Hover overs

Tracking users when not even clcking on the ad.

------------------------------------------------------------

The upshot is that sites which obey the top rules lose income due the the idiots, a few sites now restrict the activity of users who block ads, (part of site rules and very clear about it) but the ads are VERY relevant and unobtrusive, and get enough trafic to pay for that site and its admin team.

The idea that the ad agency is tracking my web history and recommending based on that fills me with horror.

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Anonymous Coward

People don't realise what it means to, basically sell their information for a daft free app, or some other drivel. As long as they get what they want for free. Then there's the 10% who actually *think* about the options and make an informed decision.

If the freetards didn't reproduce and the 10% did, maybe, just maybe, todays Britain wouldn't be the cess pit from hell that it actually is!

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People don't realise what it means to, basically sell their information

I see lots of people saying this, but none of them seem to explain what it does mean. So what does it mean, to you personally? Preferably in terms of simple facts rather than references to 'idiot consumers' and 'evil corporations'.

Whenever I think about the concept, I end up concluding I don't really give a damn; how did you come to the opposite answer? Ideological or practical considerations?

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Meh

Fewer adverts

"The internet users also said they generally prefer to see fewer adverts that are relevant to them than a higher number of ads of lesser relevance, with 59% supportive of that view."

I suspect that most internet users would prefer to see fewer adverts regardless of content. I accept that they are necessary - I probably wouldn't be on this site now if I had to pay for it directly - but ignoring a targeted ad is no harder than ignoring a random ad.

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mmmmmmmm....cookies.

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Cookies

I suspect that many web site owners don't know what cookies are, or at least how they are handled. I very often read text implying that cookies apply to a computer rather than being local to a particular browser. Cookies stored by Firefox won't be read by Safari or vice versa, though there are exceptions - Netscape and Mozilla shared resources but then they were virtually the same browser.

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Joke

Hmn

conducted by the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) and ValueClick, the online advertising network.

I see no conflict of interests, this could very well be the most impartial study ever conducted.

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WTF?

Re: Hmn

...one has to wonder who they 'surveyed', really. Three Chimpanzees and an Orangutan, maybe?

I use AdBlock Plus, NoScript, and PrivacyChoice TrackBlock; this combination tends to cover all the bases for sites that I don't know or trust, by blocking adverts, disallowing the sites from running scripting, and halting any attempts at tracking. They seem to do what I want, anyhow.

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Silver badge

What a mess

Thanks for the article but if the following statement is true then the courts are going to be busy: The ICO has left it up to individual operators to determine what methods to choose.

Informed consent is easy to define and, therefore, easy to set up a mechanism to implement. It is much easier for everyone to have a standard procedure for all ad and identity vendors which users quickly learn to recognise. Not doing invites interpretation and that is bound to lead to challenges in the courts who will, yet again, have to make up for parliament and the ICO not doing their job properly. I can forgive politicians a lot but not their apparently increasing propensity to draught laws poorly: write shit laws and get flogged in public.

Do not track is the useful wishy-washy crap that cannot solve the problem because it doesn't address it. Informed consent is not opt-out but opt-in only.

Advertising was successful enough without all the minutiae and, despite industry screams, will no doubt survive a total ban on cross-site tracking.

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Anonymous Coward

Sensible deal?

I would agree to being tracked by advertisers in order to benefit from so-called free services if, and only if:

1. I am granted full ownership of all my personal data, whether online or not

2. I am granted the right to amend, at any time, my personal data being stored on file (online or not)

3. I get the right to revoke my agreement to being tracked (i.e. the opt-in)

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Anonymous Coward

Meh

I don't block the tracking cookies or adverts in any way.

I completely ignore the adverts on web pages as I always have and always will.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Meh

Use something like AdBlock+ and you'll find it makes reading pages a far more pleasant experience without the irratating colours of the ads to the sides of the text. ADBlock+ and Flashblock leave the space the ads would use intact, they just strip the ad images and the pages flow far more fluidly, more easily read and load faster too.

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"As many as 45 per cent of 2,001 internet users aged 16 or over said they were happy for advertisers to track their online behaviour in order to deliver personalised ads, according to the survey results published by trade body the Internet Advertising Bureau UK (IAB) and ValueClick, the online advertising network."

2001 isn't that many people when you consider that the UK population is over 60 million.

Internet Advertising Bureau and ValueClick no conflict of interest there then.

I ignore ads anyway and my home PC has Firefox with the Adblock extension.

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Facepalm

"Cookies are small text files that record internet users' online activity and store the information on a user's computer"

Thanks for that El Reg! Even though this is a techie site - and the majority of readers will be techies - i'm glad you took the time to clarify that for us; I was just about to drop a bag of choc-chips in the bin in case they were tracking my activity!

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Facepalm

you ungrateful bastards!

You just want it all on a plate and for free too eh?

Like many have been saying - Ad vertising is the reason that so many different products , services , clubs , hobbies , societies , you name it - are free

Thats not because it costs nothing in servers and bandwidth , its because of advertising.

-----

p.s. I use the host file method of ad blocking

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Anonymous Coward

Re: you ungrateful bastards!

Granted but 95% of my time I have no interest in finding anything, I just want to get on with the thousand and one things I already have on my plate. When, and only when, I am in the market for something new then I am open to suggestions and adverts to help me find what I am after, until then yes I want an ad-free life!

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Anonymous Coward

Lawyers, etc

I'm just waiting for the 'law firms' to start prosecuting people who block ads on the basis that a) They are STEALING the information by so doing, and b) That a lost advert view = a lost sale of the item being advertised (similar to their movie/mp3 logic).

It won't belong before somebody gets sued for blocking an ad for a car and fined the cost of the car (as they WOULD have bought it) as well as legal costs. Just you wathc this (ad free) space..

Then, this logic will start to extend to the home, with the installation of viewer detectors or some mechanism to 'prove' you watched the ads (e.g. some sort of question/answer page) whereby you don't get to watch the second part of a 'free to air' tv programme unless you watched the ads ("In the previous advertisement the product offered which of these benefits? a)...b).... - get it wrong and say good bye to the rest of the program).

Personally I see adverts as stealing MY bandwith that I pay for. If you don't want people to see your web pages without veiwing ads then put up a pay wall (or ad wall) and stop letting the info be scraped by search engines....

and breathe....

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Black Helicopters

Re: Lawyers, etc

Well, one of the MPAA leaders famously said that fast-forwarding through ads on taped shows was "stealing".

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Anonymous Coward

El Reg Adverts

To be honest, I don't mind those El Reg ads, featuring buxom birds flogging T-shirts.

Out of interest are these cookie-spewing stalking ads? I presumed everyone got them.

Anonymous: So only me and the advertisers know my predilections.

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Monkey see, monkey do.

The Ministry of Justice seems to think it is OK to drop LSO cookies on visitors to their web site.

If the ICO could get Government Departments to lead they way in obeying legislation, just maybe he might be in a position to begin work on others.

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Bronze badge

I don't believe for an instant that we actually get any less ads because they're targeted.

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