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back to article Ad man: Mozilla 'radicals' and 'extremists' want to wreck internet economy

Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of industry group the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), thinks the Mozilla Foundation's policy on third-party cookies is way out of line, and he's taken to the web with a 4,000-word screed essay to make his case. It was in February that Mozilla first said that a future version of its …

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And by dammit!

We have a god-given right to a profit, irrespective of what the end user wants or needs!

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Re: And by dammit!

Not only a god-given right to a profit, but a god-given right to annoy others. Besides, his "anti-business value system" concept is completely wrong. If a company hasn't annoyed me, I'm more likely to buy their product if I decide I have a use for it. Ad blocking actually does some companies a favour.

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WTF?

Re: And by dammit!

You mean there are people using Firefox without the Ghostery, BetteryPrivacy, NoScript and Flashblock plugins, plus settings adjusted to delete all cookies, history & cache upon exit?

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Re: And by dammit!

"Ghostery, BetteryPrivacy, NoScript and Flashblock [...] delete all cookies, history & cache upon exit"

I think it's fair to say that for some users that will sound like a lot of effort.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: And by dammit!

There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.

Robert A. Heinlein, Life-Line (1939)

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Re: And by dammit!

Lovely quotation, David! Did that guy Heinlein ever have a way of getting into the future and taking a look around! (Although Life-Line was his very first published story). If he hadn't thought so deeply and so well, his books might have sold even more widely than they did.

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Meh

No Cookies Please, We're British

A bit strong on the rhetoric, there. Blocking third party cookies will lead to an Internet Apocalypse? Small businesses will perish? Who cares if there's a whitelist? Blocking third-party cookies is BAD! DON'T DO IT!

*checks to make sure ABP and Ghostery are up-to-date*

You're wasting my oxygen, Mr. Rothenberg.

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Happy

Re: No Cookies Please, We're British

Stop being anti-commerce. Hundreds of thousands of jobs depend on it!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: No Cookies Please, We're British, aka hundreds of 1000s of jobs

your irony was lost, I see. Have a click to improve your ratings! ;)

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Unhappy

Re: No Cookies Please, We're British, aka hundreds of 1000s of jobs

Yeah, nobody seems to have gotten it.

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Re: No Cookies Please, We're British, aka hundreds of 1000s of jobs

I did!

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Re: No Cookies Please, We're British

Apart from the third party cookies you may need for your shopping cart. I would have thought the blocking of tracking cookies does a favour for the small business. These sort of things strike me as the realm of the companies that can afford big marketing departments and talk of things like metrics. Not some little online shop.

Nice one Mozilla your helping the small business stay competitive.

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Re: No Cookies Please, We're British

"You're wasting my oxygen, Mr. Rothenberg."

And doubly so when you speak.

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Re: No Cookies Please, We're British

First thing I do with a new browser is unset acceptance of third-party cookies. I've never had that stop me ordering anything on line. (NoScript has when the site calls in things that aren't actually on the calling page for card validation, but that is different; annoying, but different.)

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Ahh.. theh cry of the self entitled..

Poor little sausage. All those nasty non advertising people not wanting crap shoved at them from ever corner.. The monsters..

And no.. The internet would not does tomorrow if ad revenue went away. There was an internet pre OCD tacking of everything. And there will be one after.

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Re: Privacy vs. commerce? No brainer there

Equally worded, "Commerce vs. privacy? No brains there."

I was going to respond similarly, though not as restrained as yourself. I was going to add, in true "Kelly" style, "...with something hard and sandpapery", followed by a suggestion that the best public service he could perform is choking on some form of advertising material. But then, he really isn't into performing acts of public service now, is he?

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Alert

Re: Go fuck yourseff

Please don't encourage him. He might produce offspring that way.

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Re: Privacy vs. commerce? No brainer there

It's more than a little messed up that this guy experiences his life on a planet where he thinks this rhetoric should resonate with someone.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Go fuck yourseff

Unless he can reproduce asexually, fucking himself is unlikely to produce offspring.

But then again, many lower life forms, especially parasites, do reproduce asexually, so....

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Business friendly solution

Mozilla should charge him the same rate for his ads appearing in their internets as Fox charge for advertising on their network.

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Re: Business friendly solution

"Users should charge him the same rate for his ads appearing in their internets as Fox charge for advertising on their network."

I fixed that for you.

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So exactly how does Mr. Rothenberg define liberty and freedom? Certainly if he is free to cast his cookies about then someone else if equally free to burn them. Perhaps he welcomes the tons of junk mail that comes to his door and maybe he would appreciate little gps trackers in every piece of junk mail he must love to carry around. Personally, I keep a shredding bin right next to the inbox and it probably digests a good 95% of all snail mail. Now all I need is a device that can automatically sort and shred. I'd just skip the sorting altogether if it weren't for those occasional but still pesky jury duty notices.

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Happy

Efficiency

I have a 'no junk mail' sticker on my mailbox.

I also made a 'Junk mail please' sign for my recycle bin that lives next to it.

The leaflet delivery person gets paid, I never see the stuff. Everyone wins! Well ... everyone that matters.

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Devil

"Personally, I keep a shredding bin right next to the inbox and it probably digests a good 95% of all snail mail. "

Never shred addressed junk mail! The marketing b@stards assume if it isn't returned that it has been successfully delivered, meanwhile you're paying for the shredder and the electricity to dispose of it. If you return it with "not known at this address" written on it, then (a) they have to pay the return postage, and (b) they knock you off most mailing lists because they don't have a name or any segmentation information for the next advertised campaign. And because the less scrupulous will sell on lists of presumed-to-be-valid addresses, you want your name knocked off the list as soon as possible. If you're already on a lot of junk mail address lists, then investing a few quid in having a stamp made up that says "Return to sender, not known at this address" could simplify the fight back, as well as being deeply satisfying to apply.

I've yet to come across a junk mail sender who uses or updates the real customer address file (junk mail almost always comes from third party mailing fulfilment businesses, or in house captive junk mailers, who use an externally compiled mailing list), so telling the marketing droids that you don't live there has no consequences for any service that you actually want.

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Royal Mail optout

Here in the UK, 1st sign up to the Mail Preference Service @ http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/ to stop the majority of mail. It actually seems to work.

To nail most of the remaining stuff read http://www.royalmail.com/personal/help-and-support/how-do-I-stop-receiving-any-leaflets-or-unaddressed-promotional-material, has been claimed it's a sacking offence for you're postie to tell you about the opt-out!

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Re: Royal Mail optout

Sadly that still does not stop the junk mail addressed to "the occupier".

Yes Virgin - that's you. Straight into the recyling bin

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Anonymous Coward

I used to send the return envelopes back with newspaper clippings and other things I thought might be of interest. Even though I was only able to get about 4 ounces of material into the envelope I'm sure AT&T and the credit card companies thoroughly enjoyed what I sent since it wasn't long before they stopped asking for more.

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Re: Royal Mail optout

Virgin's advertising is vitiated by the fact that so many people have tried being their customers - for a while. After that experience, whenever you see a sales offer from Virgin you just smile grimly and walk on by/recycle it.

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Holmes

@LaeMing - Re: Efficiency

Wrote :- "I also made a 'Junk mail please' sign for my recycle bin that lives next to it.

The leaflet delivery person gets paid, I never see the stuff."

Actually, they don't necessarily. People who distribute unaddressed mail get paid to deliver x number. If they miss out a house because of such a sign, they must go to a further house to post it. Of course they could bin it (or the whole lot) but the agencies who handle this stuff do spot checks. My wife once delivered Yellow Pages (but people rarely object to receiving that) and that's how it worked. I don't know how it works with the Post Office though.

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Devil

Yeah, how dare they? Let's apply the logic--

How insensitive to the needs of capitalists: Mozilla, parents and others are being simply evil. Just think for a moment about all that cash waiting to be scooped up by advertisers, and the more refined purveyers of all sorts of rather lucrative enterprises. Since commerce is to be more highly valued, we should stop discouraging Internet commerce in children, slaves, sex workers, and illegal substances.

Just think about all those children...

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Anonymous Coward

"[Third-party cookies] have been part of the way Internet advertising has been delivered, measured, analyzed, optimized, and compensated for more than 15 years," he railed. "Were they to be embargoed tomorrow, billions of dollars in Internet advertising ... would disappear."

Cry me a river you perkeleen vittupää.

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Am I the only one who thinks this is all just a massive distraction?

It seems to me that all this moaning about with respect to Third Party Cookies is nothing but a colossal distraction to keep everyone's attention away from the countless other methods which can be employed to track a given user.

If I recall correctly there has been ways to track through plugins, for instance. Adobe Flash comes to mind though Adobe "might" have "addressed" it by now.

Also, read up on EFF's Panopticlick. It's a worthwhile site to check out if you haven't already. I found it quite interesting at least and wouldn't be all too surprised if similar methods are already (at least partially) employed in order increase tracking efficiency.

Also, doesn't Safari already block Third Party Cookies?

While I was fiddling around with a temporary OS X installation I decided to check Safari out and realized that Third Party Cookies were disabled by default in its preferences. This was a clean installation too. I might be wrong here but I'm quite confident that this is the case.

Now of course one might argue that Safari's "market share" isn't exactly up there (not on desktops at least) and even the most die-hard Apple fans I've come across outright refuse to use it for any purpose other than to download another browser but it still has to account for *something*.

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Happy

Re: Am I the only one who thinks this is all just a massive distraction?

luv listening to the clueless rail against wars already lost

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Re: Am I the only one who thinks this is all just a massive distraction?

Yes, Safari does indeed block third-party cookies; you're not wrong. It's a perfectly adequate web browser, by the way, and judging from browser market share stats, a large majority of Mac users don't bother with anything else, so yeah I'd say it accounts for something. Namely, it accounts for evil Mac users destroying the web economy! Woo!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Am I the only one who thinks this is all just a massive distraction?

"While I was fiddling around with a temporary OS X installation I decided to check Safari out and realized that Third Party Cookies were disabled by default in its preferences."

Does that include Apples ad network cookies, it's Apples browser running on Apples computer, that would make the cookies theirs not third party.

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I for one am glad to contribue to the downfall of man...

Err... I mean the advertising useless crap that I don't care about. If I'm at Newegg and they want to target me with ads about something that's related to other stuff I've browsed there, thank you. Same with any other site. It's bad enough to see the crapvertising that's based on my IP address, telling me that Obama commands me to get new car insurance, or I should contribute to some turd's reelection campaign in the armpit of my state. If I want to block third-party cookies, that's my choice.

Now if only there was a way to modify those third-party cookies into something malformed that made their database drop a huge load all over the floor....

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Re: I for one am glad to contribue to the downfall of man...

You could try just manually inserting some random unclosed SQL to third party cookies - although just to be safe that would probably best be done over Tor with no personal info in whichever profile you use.

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How is the only answer to this not "shut up you clown" rather than engagement.. Make it so as Jean-Luc would say.

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Holmes

For your edification; I turn to the classics.

And to take a quote out of context:

For it must be greatly inconvenient to thieves and cut-throats, who have engaged in this way of life, and run great risks in acquiring skill in their employment, to be obliged all at once to withdraw their hands, and lay aside picking locks, and apply themselves to industry in other ways, for a livelihood.

Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Modern Chivalry.

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FAIL

Clueless

To Rothenberg, however, the idea of a browser that knows how to block cookies from selective sources is not only abhorrent, but it could mean the destruction of an entire segment of the global economy.

There's already at least one browser that knows how to block cookies from selective sources. It's called Mozilla Firefox. It's not a default state and the user has to select this option manually but the option is there.

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Re: Clueless

"There's already at least one browser that knows how to block cookies from selective sources. It's called Mozilla Firefox. It's not a default state and the user has to select this option manually but the option is there."

For now.

At one point, Mozilla made changes to how that particular feature worked. The changes were incredibly annoying, and provoked a bug report/change request. In the Bugzilla discussion, the Mozilla devs made their distaste for that feature plain. I strongly suspect that if they start blocking 3rd-party cookies by default, that feature will go away.

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Devil

You right, we want wreck it all an we COMING TO GET YOU NOW!

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Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

We don't want your ads.

We set our browsers to block everything but the originating cookies ("First Party"), and even those we have it set to prompt us if we want to allow it be set.

We use HOSTS files to block your ad servers straight to >Dev>Null and thus render your attempts fruitless.

We use extensions & plug in's to block, scramble, thwart, and f4 up any data you *might* manage to get, so suddenly I appear as a 98 year old Retired Woman whom makes $10BUSD per year, on Social Security, homeless with a $92MUSD home & 54 mortgages, no car but just having purchased a $200KUSD Lexus Hybrid SUV (that doesn't exist), and I live in the area code "90210", but list my address as in Washington DC...

In other words, you won't get any data out of me, I refuse to let you data mine me, I refuse to view your advertisements, and you can just go f4 a pig.

I don't read SnailMail spam, ink stamping it "REFUSED" and dropping it back in the box for the carrier to grab the next day.

(Thus *costing you more money*.)

I don't watch advertisements on tv, because as soon as they begin, I hit MUTE & leave the room.

(Bathroom break, refill the drink, get munchies, etc.)

I don't read email Spam, and bounce it to the original domain, plus the upstream providers, marked as Unsolicited Commercial Email. Then I add the domain to the Auto-Perma-Bounce-&-Delete rules list, so I never deal with it again.

In short, you don't get to advertise to me.

You speak of freedom & liberty.

Well, your freedom to market does *NOT* mean a freedom to violate MY freedom to tell you to go F4 yourself & Die.

Don't try to blow smoke up my a3 claiming my refuseal of viewing your ads is going to lead to the downfall of the internet.

I was part of the 'net before it became commercialized with all the ad crap, and I'll still be on it long after your ilk have been stood up against the wall & executed like the social s4 stains that you are.

So Shut The F4 Up, Get The F4 Out, F4 Off And Die, & Have A Nice Death.

-Signed,

The Internet.

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Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

Standing Ovation of several minutes! I may have to quote you

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Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

Nice to know I am not alone in my abhorrence of unsolicited advertising. And that someone else goes to the same lengths as myself to avoid ever seeing it.

Have a thumbs up and an up vote.

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Windows

Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

"Well, your freedom to market does *NOT* mean a freedom to violate MY freedom to tell you to go F4 yourself & Die."

Wonder how this chap would react to chuggers as found on UK high streets?

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Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

" I don't watch advertisements on tv, because as soon as they begin, I hit MUTE & leave the room."

Totally agree, except this bit. I record it and skip the adverts altogether. Makes films on TV a lot shorter, too!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dear anti-Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

because you're 0.0000001% of the population. And the 99.9999999 don't give a flying monkey fuck that we spy on them in all possible, and some impossible ways. In fact, they haven't even got to the stage of not giving a flying monkey fuck, they're FIRMLY stuck at the stage of "Oh? I didn't know it's possible?".

but hey, that statement we issued and the media are reproducing? Surely got us noticed, ha!

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Joke

Re: Dear Advertising Scum. STFU, GTFO, FOAD, & HAND.

STFU! GTFO! FOAD! and er .. .F4?

Is that Alt+F4 or Ctrl+F4? F4 yourself right up the A3. And it's not your A3, it's a road for anyone that wants to drive between London and Plymouth pal.

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