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Privacy Advertising

When Opting Out of Ad Tracking Doesn't Opt You Out 193

Posted by Soulskill
from the out-damned-spot dept.
jfruh writes "Privacy blogger Dan Tynan couldn't help but notice the ads targeting his web browsing for a plus-sized women's clothing store, not least because he's neither a woman nor plus-sized. But trying to figure out why those ads kept popping up in his browser led to some disturbing discoveries. He had opted out of targeted Google ads, and at first glance the ads seemed to come from Google — but digging deeper, he found that Google's DoubleClick was only the intermediary, which meant his opt-out didn't apply. And his opt-outs from other ad services seemed to have vanished."
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When Opting Out of Ad Tracking Doesn't Opt You Out

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  • I still haven't come up with a way to describe advertisement other than rent-seeking within the confines of a capitalist interpretation.

    • by Fwipp (1473271)

      Capitalism relies on people trying to make the best decision for themselves they can, based on what information they have.

      How is trying to control the information people receive about your product anything but a logical and necessary outcome of capitalism?

      • Because the way you phrased it, the second sentence sounds like it's an attempt to dismantle the first. Capitalism relies on a thing that actors in the market try to limit and control?

        How is that not a serious problem to you?

        • by Fwipp (1473271) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:33PM (#45169369)

          It is a serious problem to me. My point is that, in any capitalist society, you can expect advertisements to be present, and they will be as sleazy and manipulative as companies can get away with.

          • Yes, what you can expect might be that. No contest, I'd just wish we had a bit more of a cultural impetus to resist allowing it.

            • by Fwipp (1473271)

              I would totally be on board with that. It's hard to mount cultural opposition to advertisments as they're so ubiquitous, even if they are misleading/wrong/awful. I also wouldn't mind seeing additional regulations on advertisements (especially regarding intentionally misleading statements), but I know the majority of slashdot is pretty opposed to "Free Speech" limitations like this.

      • Controlling the information people may receive is not really evoking memories of capitalism in me, ya know?

      • I'm not sure you understand that your argument fundamentally ignores that the advertisers' attempts to circumvent people's wishes to not be tracked is fundamentally no less valid (and certainly on a morally higher ground) than their desire to target people for advertising.

        Let's use an analogy. If the Jehovah's Witnesses followed everyone around and amassed records about everything we were doing to decide which doors to knock on, that would be equivalent to what we're seeing with today's targeted adverts.

      • by vux984 (928602) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:51PM (#45169585)

        How is trying to control the information people receive about your product anything but a logical and necessary outcome of capitalism?

        Capitalism relies on people trying to make the best decision for themselves they can, based on what information they have.

        The validity of that hypothesis rests on several assumptions:

        That people are not coerced.
        That people act under rational self interest.
        That the competitive market itself will facilitate consumers getting the information they need to make decisions.

        Advertising has achieved a level of sophistication that this is no longer entirely true. The information available is not reliable, and I cannot make informed buying decisions.

        All that's left working in the customers favor is direct word of mouth, reputation systems (wherein I might trust a particular reviewer who has steered me well in the past), and government regulation (truth in advertising, labelling laws, etc... which some beleive are anti-capitalist, and everyone knows are largely co-opted and corrupted or just outright violated by the regulated industries).

        Compared what the industries are prepared to expend "controlling" information; with what I have at my disposal to research something? I am at such a substantial disadvantage that I am frequently operating against my own self interest. And I'm in the minority just being truly aware of it.

        For example, if I want to buy an X and I don't know much about X, and its not something my friends or family use then I'm pretty much helpless.

        Word of mouth doesn't work if I don't know people I trust with an X.
        I can't rely on a reviewer of X if I don't have any experience with that reviewer (and I know that many reviewers are shills, or just plain idiots)

        I can't rely on review sites and such, I know in many cases the reviews are paid, the 'likes' and 'followers' and '+1' are corrupt or paid for, and full of idiots. And in the worst cases, the entire review site is 'fake' and hosted by the vendor.

        I've learned to try and filter out what i need from newegg and amazon.com and other review sites -- but its cat and mouse, and the advertisers get cleverer, and my resources to combat them are not increasing proportionally. And for some products... I don't really know where to even start, and again I like to think I'm 'above average' at this 'game'.

        It's sick really.

        • by Fwipp (1473271)

          Sorry, I didn't set my tone right in my original post. I meant to indicate that capitalism, by nature, incentivizes actors to erode the foundation that it relies upon to work. False (or fake) advertisements or reviews are simply one way that people with capital game the system against those without. They will actively seek to coerce you, feed you misinformation, and distort your perception of your own self-interest.

          When you go shopping, each item that you look at, you are pitting (at most) a few minutes of

        • Economics makes no such claim that people act under "rational self interest" or that people are well informed. It's not even covered in an econ class one way or the other, you'll just never hear it. The laws of economics apply regardless.

          What is covered is that they're making the best decision for themselves (decisions are subjective, so that goes by definition), and that there's no coercion. The side effects of coercion (including taxes) is a whole field of study.

          • by vux984 (928602)

            Economics makes no such claim that people act under "rational self interest" or that people are well informed. It's not even covered in an econ class one way or the other, you'll just never hear it. The laws of economics apply regardless.

            It starts to come up when you discuss philosophical issues pertaining to economics. For example, the idea that capitalism allocates resources efficiently per-supposes the parties are acting with rational self interest. I think we would agree that if the parties are acting i

          • by vux984 (928602)

            What is covered is that they're making the best decision for themselves

            What does that even mean semantically, if the utility buyers assign to things is projected onto them by the suppliers?

            Lets imagine ants. As a colony they gather the closest richest food source they can find.

            Suppose a supplier puts out some food. The ants discover it and start harvesting it.

            Then a competitor 'opens shop'; he's a bit closer, and his foods a bit richer. The ants discover it, and gradually they shift to the new source of foo

      • "How is trying to control the information people receive about your product anything but a logical and necessary outcome of capitalism?"

        The answer to that one is easy: trying to control someone's information is a "monopolistic" practice, which means it's not capitalism.

        It does not necessarily take a monopoly to engage in "monopolistic" or "anti-competitive" practices. And this is such an example. And before you argue about it being anti-competitive, consider: a CAPITALIST market depends on people making voluntary, informed choices. To the extent that information is "controlled", their consent is not informed and cannot therefore be said

      • Capitalism is the practice of tricking/convincing or forcing people to give you their money. All other aspects are implementation issues.
  • An advertiser not respecting the wishes of a consumer to not be advertised to?
    I'm very perplexed what type of individuals these are who run this business.

    • The type that you should cleanse with fire. And then shoot, just to be sure.

    • Re:Shocking... O_o (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geminidomino (614729) on Friday October 18, 2013 @04:00PM (#45169687) Journal

      And this is why I figuratively (and literally) flip off any ass hat who comes in bitching about adblockers whenever they come up.

      Malware, black-hats, etc.. are actively hostile to us, our privacy, and our systems' security, and we take steps to mitigate the threat they pose.

      Advertisers have proven, time and again, that they belong in the same category, and do so overtly (they don't even try to pretend otherwise). IMNSHO, to not mitigate them borders on negligence.

      • by Linsaran (728833)

        I don't think all advertisers are inherently malicious. There are some sure, but then there are some crooked cops, some sleazy salesmen, corrupt politicians etc. The problem comes in that most of the time we see advertisements on the internet its because there really is no other way for the company to provide the services they provide unless someone is footing the bill. Would you use Google search if you had to pay for it? Some people might, but I'd be willing to bet that most people wouldn't. Using AD

  • Professionalism... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:13PM (#45169139)

    I have difficulty seeing the author as a professional when he uses words like "porcine" to describe an overweight woman. Is that really necessary in a professional publication?

  • opt-outs (Score:5, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:14PM (#45169149)

    Opt-outs are a scam. They have been since the late 90s. Opting out just tells spammers that they hit a real e-mail address, and thus its value goes up. It also tells them one other important piece of information: You're willing to click on links that send you to random websites.

    Anyone who tries to 'opt out' is an idiot, and anyone who suggests them as a solution to spam and advertising should be dragged into the street and stoned to death. There is only one solution: Get rid of all of it. The end. Stop your monetization of the web 2.0 synergizing cluster fuck of the internet... it survived just fine before you vultures descended on it. It will survive your demise as well.

    • Re:opt-outs (Score:4, Informative)

      by guytoronto (956941) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:18PM (#45169201)
      You are overgeneralizing. Marketing emails from legitimate companies are often stopped by opting-out. The legitimate companies have more to lose by not following the rules.
      • Re:opt-outs (Score:4, Interesting)

        by girlintraining (1395911) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:23PM (#45169245)

        You are overgeneralizing. Marketing emails from legitimate companies are often stopped by opting-out.

        "Legitimate" companies like Google, who then sell your information to third parties? Because that's what this guy is talking about, and that's what they're doing. I don't know how much more "legitimate" of an example I can make.

        The legitimate companies have more to lose by not following the rules.

        Once you've opted out, they have no further reason to follow your imaginary rules. It's just data now; Data should be monetized. If you aren't interested in our products, then we will have to make money some other way... by selling your information to our competitors, maybe... hey, at least it's turning a frown upside-down, right?

        • "Legitimate" companies like Google, who then sell your information to third parties?

          I am a Google user. My email address is in my Slashdot profile. Please go buy my personal data from Google and then show it to me. I'll be waiting when you get back.

      • Re:opt-outs (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:27PM (#45169303)

        The problem is that really reputable companies that actually care about their reputation are not really the ones that clog your inbox with ad crap. You might get a news letter or two every other month or a few select offers that actually apply to you instead of blanket carpet bombing of their entire customer base with whatever piddly crap they're hawking this time.

        The companies that WOULD actually heed your opt-out are also the ones where you don't NEED an opt-out.

        • by Mitreya (579078) <mitreya@gmail.LAPLACEcom minus math_god> on Friday October 18, 2013 @04:58PM (#45170207)

          The companies that WOULD actually heed your opt-out are also the ones where you don't NEED an opt-out.

          That's not at all true
          Nowdays, EVERY business I ever did anything with decides that I really want to know about their promotions. A hotel in Spain and another one in NY (each of which I have visited once, years ago) tried to send me regular notes about their "specials"

          I guess doing business once with them allows them to do so (no one asked me to opt-in), but opt-out really helped here.

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            I regularly get some spam from Brazil, in Portugese, which I don't speak and I have never been to South America. Even if I wanted to opt-out I'm not sure how I'd figure out the directions to do so.

            I also get some odd far right wing stuff. One even claimed had a page where I could go to see my opt-in choice, and it indeed showed that someone opted me in on a certain date and time. I have a vague suspicion that my mother secretly signs me up for this stuff.

            I almost always have adblock on, so I rarely see a

        • by hurfy (735314)

          ok, then give your email address to Staples. I dare you not to use an opt-out link ;)

          or GNC, tho no idea who gave them my email. Actually it was whoever had the hotmail addy before me. Seems to take them 5 years to realize it not theirs now.

          The problem i have right now. I can't get a broadband provider in the UK (from US) to stop sending statement notifications to me there. It's not an ad/newletter so no opt-out....a no-reply addy.... only link is to a login page. There is no way to tell em it's the wrong a

        • by Reziac (43301) *

          The very first spam I ever got was from beard.com (this was back in 1995) -- it was just a text description of whatever the guy was doing at the time. After that they came 3 or 4 times a year (finally seem to have petered out a couple years ago) and I actually kinda looked forward to 'em, because they were halfway interesting AND they were unobtrusive.

          Same for a couple of Chinese companies looking for legit business (one makes those outdoor kiddie gyms you see at Walmart). I don't mind their very occasiona

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        no. Opt out is a complete scam. You should be required to have express consent of opting in, before any tracking is done. any and all tracking is simply unauthorized and that is why I strongly recommend adblock or any other version of adblocking for every tech site (especially techreport), and basically the web itself.

        • by Mashdar (876825)

          Yes? Opting out works when you are dealing with a real company. I have opted out of a number of advertisment newsletters (Newegg, Amazon, etc.) and I don't get any of them... As GP said, real companies care about their image and don't spam the shit out of you.

          • by poetmatt (793785)

            you're relying on honor. Newegg, amazon etc might work. However, the scammers that decided you "opted in"? Which one do you think is more prevalent?

        • You're right - opting out of web based tracking is largely pointless. It works better in email, and only where it's a legitimate company. Email has been tamed through a combination of technological measures and laws. For example, the spam I receive to my 10 year old email address is way different to what I saw back in the day. I saw porn stuff, Viagra and companies selling more mainstream items. Bizarrely enough, Chinese construction companies cropped up a bit. These days it's mostly phishing attempts and A

      • by Darinbob (1142669)

        What is an example of a "legitimate" company that would send me unsolicited advertisements that suck away at my bandwidth?

    • 1) They can get your email address very easily regardless, and
      2) what do you think pays for all this free shit on the internet? unicorn farts?

    • Opt-out indeed is a scam in 99% of the case (and most of the time, an extra spammer confirmation indeed), but in some countries there are laws about that --in France for instance, just any ad *must* provide an opt-out link that does work, not only for mails but even for SMS for instance (for SMS you reply "stop" and sometimes receive a confirmation your address has been erased)
      H.

  • Just use adBlock (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:14PM (#45169151)

    And solve the problem.

    • by i kan reed (749298) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:26PM (#45169295) Homepage Journal

      Yep, lots of people on the internet say "but what about the revenue of the sites you use." It ignores that there's never going to be a mutual respect there, no matter how much you respect the source.

      • by linebackn (131821)

        Yep, lots of people on the internet say "but what about the revenue of the sites you use."

        If a site can't get by on its own merits then FUCK IT TO HELL.

        Real good sites with real content can find some way to make money (such as selling t-shirts, subscriptions, or the occasional equivalent of a paid slashvertisment.). And if not, then just too freaking bad.

        Do people realize that even in the real world, advertisers can't just do whatever they want? They can't throw branded rocks at your car while you are drivi

      • by MrL0G1C (867445)

        I agree, and that's why I use ghostery, it blocks tracking and allows any ad's that don't track.... Which seems to be none of them, but that's their problem to sort out isn't it.

    • by paulatz (744216)
      I've been using adblock since ever, but it is not always available everywhere. I.e. on mobile devices it takes a minimum of technical expertise to set up ad blocking, either by rooting+app or changing browser. Furthermore, and even if I have not seen an ad in years, I've still checked the do not track box wherever I can; if it goes go up in the statistics maybe someone will get the message.
  • by DogDude (805747) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:16PM (#45169173) Homepage
    I don't understand why the person writing this article would choose to jump through the advertiser's hoops to deal with this problem. Install Adblock and Ghostery or something similar and forget about it.
  • Simply saying don't track me, while as the same time handing over enough identifying information to do precisely that is a silly expectation.

    At best you might suppress some innocuous tracking by people who were already probably on the up and up, but big merchants
    and big ad agencies are going to track everything they can find out about you from your browser and your location. Even if they have only a tiny ad on a site that you visit, you can rest assured that since that site wasn't the site you contacted, i

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:18PM (#45169199)

    I've seen beta.slashdot.org and was horrified. Once the "old" slashdot goes away, so will this nearly two-decade user.

    • Unfortunately for you, users of all kinds of sites express disdain for new layouts, which never end up killing the site like dissatisfied users claim. In this case the new design is extremely impractical, and slashdot has been on track for a collapse for a while now.

      But it will go ahead, because of e-precedent for ignoring the naysayers regarding site-design.

      • Ok, I just had to see it.

        If you increase your zoom so much that the site thinks you are using a phone, the layout gets sane. It'll probably be better on a phone than the current site, too bad it only works for phones. Is /. taking desing classes at Microsoft?

      • by Bill Dimm (463823)

        which never end up killing the site like dissatisfied users claim

        Ahem, Digg.com. Admittedly, the v4 [wikipedia.org] update was more than just a new layout, but the rate of collapse was amazing. It was a social news site (sound familiar?) where the number of comments on the articles dropped by an order of magnitude in days.

    • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:51PM (#45169587) Homepage

      Why would anyone think it was a good idea to turn a good looking, well working site, into something that looks like a blogspot blog?

    • by eddeye (85134)

      I've seen beta.slashdot.org and was horrified. Once the "old" slashdot goes away, so will this nearly two-decade user.
      by Anonymous Coward on Fri Oct 18, '13 04:18 PM (#45169199)

      Finally! That anonymous coward guy has been filling the forums with spam for years. I thought we'd never get rid of him.

  • by linebackn (131821) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:20PM (#45169215)

    Seriously, there are STILL people out there using browsers without ad blockers?! Are they also still using IE 6?

    Hint: If you are using Windows 95 or NT 3.51 then SeaMonkey 1.1.19 and Adblock 0.5 or Adblock Plus 1.0.2 do a great job.

    There is just no excuse.

    • by guises (2423402)

      There is just no excuse.

      Well... I can think of one excuse. Many websites that I like rely on advertising revenue. Some, like Slashdot, have an option to pay a bit of money instead of seeing ads, and that's nice enough when it's available, but I don't particularly want to keep track of a zillion subscriptions and not every site is large enough to have that sort of thing.

      Given that the way this whole internet deal works is for me to send a request to some remote server and for them to send me what I ask for (at their expense), it

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:57PM (#45169643)

        Well... I can think of one excuse. Many websites that I like rely on advertising revenue.

        And that's why adblock has a whitelist option so that you can whitelist the sites that don't display intrusive/abusive advertising. It even has a checkbox for "allow unobtrusive advertising" when selecting filters, which lets through things such as the google text based ads.

        Now where's you're excuse?

      • by linebackn (131821)

        it certainly feels pretty unethical for me to block the only way they have to recoup that money.

        Does it also feel unethical to have rules about companies not putting up billboards that can induce seizures? Or about where they can put them? Would you just sit there and take it if you woke up one morning and found 100 small advertising sign posts stuck in your yard?

        Since there is no regulation on the internet, an adblocker is, in my opinion, a perfectly acceptable thing to for people to use.

        If a sites like

      • by PhxBlue (562201) on Friday October 18, 2013 @04:31PM (#45169967) Homepage Journal

        I do use NoScript, which winds up blocking a good portion of ads, and I don't feel bad about that one, but fundamentally the problem with a visitor using AdBlock is the same as a spammer sending spam - not only are you doing something that may not be desired, but you're pushing all of the costs for this action onto the other person.

        Then I guess it might behoove them to spend a bit less money by serving simpler ads. Say, something text-only? The reason AdBlock became so popular was because the advertisers got so obnoxious.

      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday October 18, 2013 @04:40PM (#45170041)

        it certainly feels pretty unethical for me to block the only way they have to recoup that money.

        Except it is not the only way they have to recoup that money. It is just the way they have chosen to try. There are other ways. Penny Arcade raised half a million on kickstarter to go ad-free for a year. They also sell merchandise. Linux Weekly News embargoes some articles for a week so that they are only available to subscribers. Phoronix has subscriptions for ad-free and single-page articles.

        Bigger picture, advertisement based funding killed the development of micro-payment functionality. If advertising becomes less lucrative, we will see alternatives come about. By letting those ads through you aren't just helping to fund your favorite websites, you are also enabling an industry that has the potential to do real harm to society through misuse of all the profiling information they collect.

      • by pspahn (1175617)

        I think it's interesting that you're not willing to use Adblock but you're willing to use Noscript.

        ...it certainly feels pretty unethical for me to block the only way they have to recoup that money.

        In my case, the website I run for our family's small business generally relies on users having javascript enabled. I don't do anything nasty with it... I use it for AJAX content updates for a slick search feature that allows you to browse the entire catalog without endless page reloads. I use it for the checkout process so that you can login or create a new account from there without having to go to some othe

        • Of course, there are lots of sites serving javascript for the user's benefit. That's why NoScript makes it easy to whitelist a site.

          Personaly, I don't like ad-blocking (it messes with the pages, no ethical concerns), and use NoScript. I probably wouldn't even have to change anything for your site, since you are probably serving javascript from the same place as you serve your pages, and I whitelisted local scripts in general. Non-local scripts are bad more often than good, and even when the intention of the

    • by s.petry (762400)

      I'll see your Adblock and raise you a NoScript and block all cookies. Still imperfect, but it seems to work very well.

      That said, there is something rather disturbing to point out. Why do people buy things from these people? If people did not purchase from shitty telemarketers, they would simply vanish (and I hope they eventually do). But enough people buy the trash to keep the shitty business practices in business. The same is true with targeted ads on web pages.

      I honestly have no clue why anyone would

      • I'll see your Adblock and raise you a NoScript and block all cookies. Still imperfect, but it seems to work very well.

        Go all in with RequestPolicy. [requestpolicy.com]

        It is like NoScript for all cross-site requests, not just javascript.

        Install the beta of 1.0 direct from the website. It is stable and the GUI is better, I've been running it for months, just make sure you change the default from black-listing to white-listing.

        • by s.petry (762400)
          Thanks for the info here, I had not known of the product until you pointed it out. I'll do some investigating and see how it works.
      • by mlts (1038732) *

        I use different browsers for different tasks, as well as Sandboxie for additional separation (the sandboxes are stored on a different volume, so all writes are redirected there. I'm glad I did this since I have had some malware tried to do a "mkdir foo, cd foo" loop and getting rid of it was trivial compared to it happening on a needed disk volume -- a quick diskpart clean and reformat did the trick.

        Nothing is certain security, but keeping the bank stuff stays in one browser, while my general stuff stays i

      • Well, as I've more than once brought things from ads, I can probably explain why....

        I won't buy pants because they are in a magazine or displayed on a sign

        Well, me neither. But that's a bad example. I know that pants exist, there isn't a huge variation in their price, and know that I should physicaly try them. Those conditions are not always true, and I really appreciate ads about things that I don't know that exist, or that have a very low price and don't require physical inspection.

        Anyway, I dislike anoyi

    • by Kozz (7764)

      Seriously, there are STILL people out there using browsers without ad blockers?! Are they also still using IE 6?

      Yes, there are. And no, using IE8 is still sufficient ...

  • Verifying that you're actually reading whatever crap they throw at you. In other words, you only make it more valuable for ad spammers.

  • by aepervius (535155) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:26PM (#45169299)
    No , really ? I am not surprised. The ad industry torpedoed every instance of normal regulation and do not track, they are handling self regulation like robber barron, laughing all the way. There is only one option : the nuclear option, and it is adblocking. All of it. And if a web site does not want to show me anything because I block ads , well I can most probably live without that web site.
  • by steelfood (895457) on Friday October 18, 2013 @03:35PM (#45169413)

    All this, and the big question still goes unanswered: Why is he getting targetted for plus-sized women's clothing? I mean, the behaviorial information causing him to be an ideal candidate for purchasing plus-sized women's clothing is coming from somewhere, no?

    • by pspahn (1175617) on Friday October 18, 2013 @05:38PM (#45170499)

      An interesting thing happened to me the other day.

      I do use Facebook on occasion, generally as a way to aggregate a few of my interests into one place I can go for articles and such.

      So the other day I go on and all of a sudden there are several "Suggested Posts" promoting engagement rings. Eh? Really? I have not been looking for engagement rings online or anywhere else, so I found it odd these ads (again, not just one, there were several from different jewelers) were targeting me.

      I go ask my girlfriend, "hey, were you looking at engagement rings on my computer?" She had an awkward look about her and went on to say that she wasn't, *but*, she was looking at them on her computer at work.

      Interesting.

      We are not labeled on FB as "In a relationship", and any posts between us are usually because we were at the same housewarming party or something (along with a bunch of other people). Despite the fact that we aren't obviously in a relationship, FB still knows that I need to be seeing ads for engagement rings. While I don't intend on proposing to her anytime soon, the idea is still there, so it's not like the targeted ad was innaccurate.

      Maybe this guy in TFA has a mother who is plus-sized and her birthday is in two weeks? These types of inferences are happening more and more, so don't be surprised when you see an ad for a product that you would never buy *for yourself* because maybe their goal is to get you to buy for that person close to you that they know you would want to buy something for.

      • by hurfy (735314)

        Good one and on the 1 Friday I don't have mod points.

          I usually get mod points on Fridays, since i view it Mon-Fri. is it really trying to entice me here for the weekend too or just stupid?

    • by Reziac (43301) *

      Maybe he's visiting fat-admirer sites on the sly. ;)

    • Who knows? Perhaps his DHCP lease expired and he got reassigned to an IP previously used by a curvy woman?

      A lot of these ad systems are based on somewhat black box machine learning models or statistical correlation engines. Even the people who run them can't always explain why a certain choice was made, just that overall it seems to do the right thing.

  • I have Abine's Do Not Track, and have local Flash storage disabled. The major TV networks now send me the same commercial over and over while viewing the same show.

    At least I know the block is working.

  • Ad tracking a little flawed because it seems to be based on the idea you might want to purchase some that you type in a search bar. Going by my own search history 5%, maybe less, of my searches has anything to do with trying to buy something. Most of the time I'm just farting around doing what amounts mindless channel surfing. I imaging most people are generally the same, spending a small about of time researching products, and most of the time looking for everything else.
  • Really, companies that in this day and age don't block all ads with a filtering proxy, are running serious security risks. Not only do their employees risk getting viruses and malware through malicious ads, but their surfing behaviour whilst working is being recorded and sold to the highest bidder. It will be trivial for their competition to buy up their surfing stats and see what the competition is doing inside their offices.

    Any web site relying on ads for a revenue will find the ads blocked at every poss

  • Don't trust them (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dunge (922521) on Friday October 18, 2013 @04:15PM (#45169837)
    Don't trust marketers to honor the "do not track", they never will. The solution is simple: Install AdBlock, Ghostery, Disconnect.me AND PeerBlock. Death to online tracking.
  • Isn't it possible that this guy just deleted his cookies? My browser is blocking 3rd party cookies, so I can't "opt out".

  • Please! If people won't take a clue and use a HOSTS file they deserve all the ads they get.

    The system the author uses is a cookie type, so the must keep their cookies, someone posted
    that there are Firefox programs to keep certain cookies after I posted this before. I just scanned
    the article but seems like http://www.networkadvertising.org/choices/ [networkadvertising.org]

    Just use a HOSTS file mines 144292 lines, I don't get many ads.

    And know that you can't opt-out of on-line or mobile ads - Google tossed me a loop searching for a P

  • I received a spam e-mail from ADT a few hours after mentioning home security in an e-mail from a google account to a yahoo account.

  • Like mailing lists. Still don't do it? :(

  • I did something like this a couple years ago. I "married" an obviously fake girl I created on Facebook. My ads internet wide quickly switched from "singles" ads to mortgages and retirement ads (with a smattering of child education savings thrown in). A couple months later I "divorced". That brought on the lawyer ads, and a fresh onslaught of singles.

    I've been Facebook free for a while now, but the screen captures I grabbed and posted while doing this provided a lot of amusement for my friends.

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