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That's how the GDPR works - unless the data being collected is required for the operation of the service, you cannot make data collection a requirement of using the service.





What if the ads are required for the operation of the website, because without them the site has to close? People are rarely willing to pay for big sites, they surely won't pay for many small sites separately.

Smaller sites don't have the resources to curate their own ads, that's why they use ad networks. If we are strict about this then this rule will eliminate small sites while tightening the grip of the big sites on the net, because they have the resources to adapt.


> What if the ads are required for the operation of the website, because without them the site has to close?

That's why you ask people. If enough people agree to paying for your content with their data, your site lives on.

If too many opt to not pay for your content with their data, your site dies unless it can find another way of making money, such as subscriptions.

Yes, it absolutely can mean that the giants will expand and lots of small sites that use ad networks will die.


> That's why you ask people.

Most people don't care and just choose the default option to get to the site. If opt out is the default and opt in requires a conscious decision then the majority of users won't opt in, because most users don't read the options, only clicks on the default option or the close popup X.

> Yes, it absolutely can mean that the giants will expand and lots of small sites that use ad networks will die.

And we already see the current situation where Facebook is dominant. If more small sites die and the big ones get even stronger then the situation will continue to deteriorate.


It also can mean that small sites will expand and giants that use ad networks will die!

My understanding is that something being 'required for product to function' refers to technical requirements, not revenue requirements. So, yes I agree that it's a problem for small sites (or really anyone who tries to make money on ads).

So this is a bad rule, because enforcing it will result in eliminating independent small sites which have no other means for financing themseves than ads.

Advertising doesn't require recording detailed profiles of individuals without their consent. Think of magazines, billboards, television, radio, etc.

In case of the advertising availabe for small sites with a handful of staff (ad networks) untargeted ads pay much less (even 50% less or more) and that revenue may not be enough to keep the sites operational.

Is this necessarily a bad thing, or just a reality of operating a business?

Advertisement doesn't require profiling and surveillance. That is what GDPR and other efforts like some ad blockers are trying to protect against. The emerging consensus is surveillance capitalism is unethical and increasingly illegal.

> Advertisement doesn't require profiling and surveillance.

Targeted ads pay much more. Eliminating targeted ads can result in a revenue drop of 50% or more, effectively killing small sites which most of the time make not much more money from ads than what is needed for financing themselves.


The idea that a site should automatically generate revenue simply for existing, especially when it's relying on unwitting invasion of visitors' privacy in an increasingly illegal manner, is ridiculous at best; malicious and predatory at worst.

The site generates revenue by providing a service. That's why people visit it and that generates the revenue via ads. E.g. an independent news site provides news articles and people visit it.

People won't pay for many small sites separately, so until we have a viable alternative (e.g. automatic micropayments) eliminating targeted ads would effectively eliminate independent journalism as well (regular ads pay much less) and we'll only have sites financed by big corporations pushing their agendas.

I'm not a fan of targeted ads, but I rather have them if they allow independent publishers to operate, than having only new sites financed by big money.


The site does NOT directly generate revenue by providing a service to their visitors, nor even by selling space to advertisers. The site generates revenue by selling to 3rd parties intimate access to its visitors without the knowledge or consent of the "average" visitor. It is broken in principle, running afoul of the nature of marketplace regulation and privacy rights.

This is just "the ends justify the means", because the consequences fall on the visitors, not the site owners, advertisers, or data brokers. It's a disgusting, predatory rationalization for offloading the damage while reaping the rewards.

Patreon on its own delivers hundreds of millions of dollars of funding a year. Web ads existed long before individualized tracking, and still are that way in pretty much every other medium (print, billboards, broadcast media, product placement, etc). Independent journalism existed in websites, blogs, pre-monetization youtube, etc as well. Heck, SV investment is available and all about spending money without any real revenue plans anyway. :-P Just this one very particular ad model needs to be ended for everybody, big and small, and the advertising market still has everything else covered. The "big money" sites also still need to monetize somehow (and much more voraciously), and wouldn't be allowed tracking ads, either.

If you can't make money without violating your audience, then you don't get to make money at it, and all scales should be held to the same account if it is genuinely considered an issue of rights.


I, for one, am actively boycotting sites with invasive tracking technology. To a certain extent, I rely on Hacker News discussion to get the essence of many articles, even on prominent publications, where cinsenting to tracking technology is necessary to read the article. As soon as I see a tracking consent dialogue, I will often leave, and actiively avoid sites that I already know use tracker network tech.

Again, earning increased revenue doesn't justify supporting unethical and/or illegal behavior from the advertising networks.

If a sites business model depends on using their users' data without their consent/knowledge then why would we want regulation to protect it from being eaten and their seat at the table taken by facebook?

Because we need independent sites too, so we hear other opinions than just the agenda of big money.

It's not ideal that we need targeted ads for that, but currently there is no viable alternative and untargeted ads don't pay enough.


I think there is no alternative because it pays to much. It works both ways.



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