Monday, August 11, 2008

AOL Uses Penguin for Behavioral Targeting Tutorial


AOL has launched an international campaign to teach users about behavioral targeting & online ad serving cookies by creating a brief flash animation showing a penguin surfing the web and viewing Anchovie ads.

Mr. Penguin

Mr. Penguin

Hmmm Mr Penguin is serving as AOL's silent voice on privacy. (no sound in that flash movie)

If you click on the end card of the video, you can then visit the opt-out page for those cookies it shows you links to privacy policies for no less than 7 ad servers used by AOL, plus and 8th link for the NAI (National Advertising Initiative) opt-out site. From the AOL opt-out pageg, you can visit the blog of AOL's Chief Privacy Officer, Jeff Polonetsky for some research done by AOL on how users treat their own private information, like their annual income figures.

It all comes down to the fact that we SAY one thing and DO another when it comes to protecting personal details. We trade private personal and financial information for convenience and minor perks and freebies.

Well, Google, Yahoo and now AOL have come out with very different responses to this issue. I haven't found a public statement yet from MSN, but here is the MSN Opt-Out page.

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posted by RealitySEO at 7:47 PM 1 comments

Friday, August 08, 2008

Yahoo Behavioral Advertising Cookies Opt-out


Yahoo has joined Google one day later to announce privacy practices and provides an opt-out option (although buried 3000 words into a 4500 word page.)

The Yahoo press release headline reads:

Yahoo! Announces New Privacy Choice for Consumers Will Expand Its Opt-Out Policy to Customized Advertising on Yahoo.com
However, the privacy option here is very much hidden as nobody but privacy advocates, and maybe bloggers or a rare journalist here and there, are willing to dig as deep as required to find this information.

As a service to those not willing to scour Yahoo's privacy policy and its massive response to the House Energy and Commerce Committee attached below their puff piece press release. Wow.

In addition to the Yahoo! opt-out, Blue Lithium and Right Media each also maintain their own opt-out mechanisms. The Blue Lithium opt-out is available here: http://www.bluelithium.com/optout.html and the Right Media opt-out is available here: http://content.yieldmanager.edgesuite.net/opt_out.html. As members of NAI, Yahoo! and Blue Lithium each have opt-out links available from the NAI opt-out page found here: http://networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp which is linked to from over 20,000 publisher sites.

Additionally, users have direct control over their Internet experience through their web browser settings. Users can delete their cookies or adjust their privacy setting in their browser today. Yahoo! helps users understand this under the special category "cookies" in our privacy policy http://info.yahoo.com/privacy/us/yahoo/cookies/.

The

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posted by RealitySEO at 1:44 PM 0 comments

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Internet Service Providers Spying on Users


The New York Times has an editorial piece today on ISP tracking of users and selling that information for behavioral targeting. Doesn't mention that the information is already sold to net tracking firms (yes in anonymized aggragate form supposedly) but it is becoming pervasive and nobody seems to care enough to attempt to stop it. The NY Times editorial, by Adam Cohen titled The Already Big Thing on the Internet: Spying on Users quotes the famous New Yorker cartoon
One dog, sitting at a computer, tells another: “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” Fifteen years later, that anonymity is gone.

Then says ominously, "It’s not paranoia: they really are spying on you."

Yes, many of us know that and have been complaining about it for years now. The question becomes... What can be done to stop it? The question before that is ... How do you get the public to care?

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posted by RealitySEO at 10:33 PM 1 comments