back to article Midwestern data pimping alive and well

Though the head of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet has urged American ISPs to "hold off" on the use of so-called behavioral ad systems, it seems at least one company has yet to heed the suggestion. According to a forum post at Broadband Reports, the Midwestern ISP known only as WOW! continues to …


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  1. Alex

    I can hear the shuffle of tiny feet

    why is it that attorneys all seem to have such small feet, still its gonna be fun to watch these data pimpers get the kicking they deserve!

  2. Tom

    Where are these ads placed?

    What are they replacing?

    Are the original advertisers annoyed that someone else is supplanting their paid-for spot?

  3. Kevin
    Thumb Down

    WOW! = Wide Open West

    WOW! is an acronym for Wide Open West. As one of their customers this is pretty irritating...

  4. Wile E. Veteran

    Just one question

    As a WOW customer.I just want to know how to join a class-action lawsuit against the bastards!

    If they won't respond to customers and Congress, maybe they'll respond to good old litigation!

  5. Gordon Pryra

    The current cookie opt-out is a standard practice for the online advertising industry

    Because the "online advertising industry" is above the law and can do what the fuck it wants

    Check out the total lack of action by the corrupt British politicians/watch-dogs in the Phorm scandle

  6. Chris C

    There is no opt-out

    "NebuAd says it anonymizes all user data. And users can opt-out of the system. But the opt-out is cookie-based. If you install a new browser or move to a new machine, the tracking starts anew."

    If it requires a cookie to be placed on the user's machine, it's not an opt-out at all. There are any number of reasons to not use cookies, ranging from security-conscious to fear of the unknown (since many non-IT people tell others that cookies are only used to track your movements and activities). There are also any number of methods to not use cookies, ranging from disabling them in your browser to disabling them via security products to using a browser that doesn't support cookies to manually or automatically rejecting cookies based on certain criteria.

    Using a cookie as an opt-out method means that people using browsers which don't support cookies, people using security products which block cookies, and people manually/automatically rejecting cookies are not allowed to opt out. Any opt-out method which makes it impossible for even one user to opt-out is completely unacceptable. What's next? An opt-out method that requires an ActiveX applet?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Tom - they don't 'replace' anything

    These snoopers run adspace-brokering "partnerships". People who are suckered into buying their web adspace from these snoopers and their brokerages pay for their ads based on how many times they're clicked on. The people who provide webpage space for ads from this brokerage have software that checks who is visiting their page, and what their interests are, based on the snoopers' snooping and serve up, instead of randomly rotated ads, ads that tend to match those interests from amongst those who've bought adspace from the brokerage.

    Everyone gets paid by the click. Well, everyone except the people who are being snooped on (that's you, the browser, and the owners of every web site you've ever visited). So the triumvirate of Adbroker, webad server and adspace buyer are happy because there's more chance of a paid for click leading to a purchase, so it's more effective.

    You're just being snooped on. Without any control over what these snoopers do with that information.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    so your best course of action

    Is to let them snoop, check the details of all the web pages for a while so you can see if you are being targeted by ads and then let those companies know in no uncertain terms what you think of their stupid business practices in dealing with these lowlifes and also let the company which originally paid for the ad space know so that they can sue for their own set of damages. If lawyers were invented for anything, it's to help put these cretins out of work.

  9. Josh

    Not violating the law...

    Who gives a...? I mean hey, do what you will legally, but if your customers don't like it, you will still see consequences

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