15 million daily users for just Firefox ABP alone! For comparison, this is roughly 5M more people than play World of Warcraft. And I'd wager most people know someone who plays that game..
Why are advertisers so scared of DNT on by default? If people want it so much, surely they'd go out of their way to enable it?
From my perspective, I'll use adblock, but I want everybody else to NOT use adblock. That way more websites can exist on advertising revenue.
edit: not quite apples-to-apples, as DNT reduces the value of an ad, while adblock eliminates it. but the general idea still stands
Of course, the former approach takes more work, but the results are worth it in the long run...
Often, a LOT better.
The same applies to ad placement. Just because you - or most users - find an ad layout obtrusive, doesn't mean it wasn't carefully split-tested and kicked the ass of every less-obtrusive layout. Certainly, the floating banner at the bottom of my 400k unique/mo website outperformed anything thrown against it 2:1, despite being annoying.
When I get a really annoying ad I often try and click on anything that I think might make it go away and the ads often seem to interpret that as a click and redirect me to the target page.
I was on some page the other day that had a popover ad that looked kind of like this:
B B B B B B B B B B
B B C C C C C C B B
B B C C C C C C B B
B B A A A A A A B B
B B A A A A A A B B
B B C C C C C C B B
B B C C C C C C B B
B B C C C C C C B B
B B B B B B B B B B
Another blogger I know has tested layouts and settled on the same floating banner for his Clickbank ads - thus, conversion-tracked.
I imagine a lot of adblock users are the same.
I could whitelist sites with acceptable advertising but in reality I don't because I'm lazy (like most people).
AdBlocking software does not stop tracking. That's not feasible, unless turning on AdBlock also severs your internet connection. It might diminish tracking, but only incidentally.
(also see: patriot act. People with enough free time to care do care, but most people are busy raising kids, dealing with relationships, and recovering from emotional exhaustion due to broken workplace politics to think about things that they can't touch, taste, or have sex with.)
People would care if they knew and understood, but learning about how anything inside "the computer" works besides throw-the-cow or pin-the-clothes or filter-the-food is too nerd/geek and comes with negative social repercussions in their circles because they "know stuff."
You quoted the wrong person here; I never used those words.
The problem is that there is a lot of value in that data beyond just targeted advertising. That's where things get cloudy.
You're perhaps one of the very very few people who dislike being told about things, but thankfully you're in the minority.
The whole "do not track us" idea is ridiculous and a 'moot' issue. Cookies aren't really necessary, you can track people server side based on their browser make up, and they won't know they're being tracked. 99.9% of browsers are completely unique and identifiable back to the computer.
If you really don't want to be tracked (<0.01% of users), then use TOR, lynx, adblock, disallow cookies, etc etc etc
Look also at the recent EU cookie laws, and how ridiculous and needlessly cumbersome they have made websites that have addopted it. Endless clicking confirmation boxes / dropdowns to say it's ok for them to store a cookie. We do not need more of this madness.
Assuming that I wanted to be aware of relevant advertising, the signal to noise ratio is absolutely microscopic. Even sites that have massive data dossiers on me (Facebook and Google) routinely abuse my attention.
I hate advertising. Usually the ads are irrelevant and for things I do not and would not ever want, are often scammy, sometimes they carry malware, often get in the way of me retrieving the information I went to a site to see..
I bet if I counted every time I clicked on an advertisement in the last decade, that number would be less than 20.
That said, I agree completely the "tracking" worries are absurd and more borne out of FUD than any concrete privacy issue.
>Look also at the recent EU cookie laws, and how ridiculous and needlessly cumbersome they have made websites that have addopted it.
Due to shoddy implementation of a shoddy law - that does not reflect whatsoever on the concept. And cumbersome? Really? Could you point to an example site?
It's definitely cumbersome. I've hit a bunch of sites recently that threw up an interstitial requiring me to "opt in" to cookies. This is obnoxious, and I go through the same thing on every device. It's not that one site doing it is especially cumbersome. It's the aggregate behavior.
I didn't realize that a new EU law was responsible for this until I read mibbitier's comment, though.
There are no words strong enough to describe how shitty that is, and it's incredibly common, on big, widely used websites.
The question is told by who, when, and at what cost?
If the answer is, by someone with a vested interest, all the time, and at the cost of someone accumulating massive amounts of very personal information about me, then no, I don't want to be told about things.
I really don't think many people see advertising as valuable information. They see it as payment for a service they want and that's what makes this issue so difficult. I don't like being tracked, but if I have to pay for every single service with my credit card, that's not going to increase my privacy either.
It's a real dilemma.
In theory, maybe. In practice, no that's not true. The big web advertising companies all subscribe to the Internet Advertising Board's code of standards which prohibits anything like panopticon-style user tracking.
Surely something like "Windows 7 running $LATEST_CHROME" must account for a very large chunk of traffic?
I assume this takes into account IP address also?
So I question how meaningful that is. Yes, it's pulling enough info to uniquely identify a browser for now, but in a week I'll add a plugin, remove a plugin, change a setting, update Firefox, whatever and the tracking will be lost.
Edit: Also, browsers could be patched to randomize some of the information Panopticlick is using, like the exact way the HTTP Accept header is written, and the order in which plugins are reported.
I guess it would be somewhat rare (I am running Ubuntu) but not that rare.
I'd be interested to know how this can be, since nothing in the info it gave back looked especially unusual.
I've long wanted to build a WebKit based browser that simply lies in response to all of those evil questions. Add it to my backlog of Important Projects, I guess.
I haven't installed any weird versions of plugins, I assumed they would be tied to whatever chrome version I have.
And Ubuntu isn't rare enough for me to be the only person using it (especially on EFF).
Going to have to experiment with this a bit.
It doesn't have to be unusual, it just has to vary slightly from machine to machine. It's the specific combination of those slight variations that's unusual.
The site gets to use ad tracking on end users, it has their explicit permission, and I get to have a list in my browser of all those sites that are tracking me. Everybody wins.
I think if a permission request for tracking were required, it would be treated much like "I agree to the terms and conditions" checkboxes are today...almost universally ignored.
I call bullshit on this. The majority of the people using Facebook have no clue what information they are giving up to a third party, and would be very concerned if they realized that their browsing habits were tracked by Facebook without their explicit authorization.
1. Add another 400 code: "Privacy not allowed".
2. Browser displays dialog box "This site wants to track you. Yea/Nay?".
3. Everybody clicks Yea, since they want the site.
Instead, any site running a system like that, except those for which there genuinely is no alternative whatsoever, would see their visitor numbers plummet.
So get a better Chair.
I certainly understand the ad industry wanting to make enough money to eat. I also understand the importance of advertising. It is a great way to raise capital while offering viewers a chance to see what products and services are out there. It is also a great way to financially support a site. I have made many purchases due to great advertising. But is it really their right to force ads on us while we have no right to a simple "leave me alone" button? Maybe there could be an option version of "do not track" that allows advertising based on the SITE information or adblocking that removes ALL ads. Then let the consumer choose. I would certainly accept a non-tracking option most of the time. Am I completely unique in this?
As for the argument that viewers will not opt-in to advertising, I simply laugh. I use "do not track" and ad blocking implementations extensively. However, I turn it off (my version of opting in to advertising) for family birthdays, anniversaries, and especially holidays. How else will I find the best deals? However, the rest of the time, I have absolutely no desire to see any Web page containing 50% (conservative for some sites) advertising. Unless I am completely unique in this world, I cannot imagine that I am the only individual who does this.
Again, why is a consumers right to be tracked or advertised versus a company's right to track me and advertise to me even a debate?
You're also not being forced to view advertising in the same way you're not being forced to visit a website. To make this into some kind of high ideal/moral/philosophy is just silly. They're just ads. Go get adblock, don't click on the ads, or just stop visiting the sites that have them. A site you really like shows ads and so you think you're backed into a corner? No way. No site is obligated to present content to you in the way you like it. There's way too many people these days shouting about how they want their FREE internet services just the way they want it like it's their right or something. It's not anyone's right.
Now tracking, that's a different story. We should all have the right to opt out of tracking if we don't want it. But to say we should never have to see an ad because it might annoy us is just ridiculous.
Advertising is speech (tracking aside). On one's own site, yes, we have a right to advertise.
I think it is time to send congress a message that states that we DO NOT WANT forced advertising and we will not be silent until we get it.
If you don't want advertising, you're free not to use websites with ads. Please don't fuck with free speech just because you don't like them.
Now, tracking is (IMO) a different issue and yes, it should be opt-in.
And that's the problem with trying to use protected speech as a defense for advertising: all that does is protect your right to use it; it does not force me to also use it. Once the content is loaded on my browser, on my computer, I have the right to do with it whatever I please -- including automatically block any of the pieces that I don't want.
You're free to have advertising on your site. I'm free to not download any of it. Freedom is great!
The existing legislation requires an opt-out policy from tracking. Advertisers must respect the user's choice with regards to targeted advertising. Does Microsoft turning on DNT by default represent the users choice or does it represent Microsoft's interests? What about third party identification for things like disqus? Sure we have ways to handle CORS today but what if there was a law (that only effected the USA) saying you were not allowed to "track" if you were a third party? If it's just about advancing web technologies why isn't this just a w3c proposal or RFC? What's wrong with the existing opt-out methods?
From what I see DNT is just a political tactic to gain power in the ad-world, not a way to protect the privacy of users.