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Coming Soon, Web Ads Tailored To Your Zip+4 185

On the heels of Apple's intention to collect and sell detailed location data comes word that Juniper is putting together technology that will allow any ISP to present you to advertisers by your Zip+4. An anonymous reader sends this snip from Wired: "Your Internet service provider knows where you live, and soon, it will have a way to sell your zip code to advertisers so they can target ads by neighborhood. If your local pizza joint wants to find you, they will have a new way to do that. National advertisers will be able to market directly to neighborhoods with like characteristics across the whole country using demographic data they've been gathering for decades. ... Juniper Networks, which sells routers to ISPs, plans to start selling them add-on technology from digital marketer Feeva that affixes a tag inside the HTTP header, consisting of each user's 'zip+4' — a nine-digit zipcode that offers more accuracy than five-digit codes. Juniper hopes to sell the software to ISPs starting this summer, having announced a partnership with Feeva earlier this year."
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Coming Soon, Web Ads Tailored To Your Zip+4

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  • Re:SSL (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lachlan Hunt ( 1021263 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:40AM (#32663676) Homepage

    SSL won't help guard against this at all. If you visit a site that embeds an advertisement, the ad provider still obtains your IP address, and they can still query participating ISPs for the postal code of the user at that address.

  • Re:SSL (Score:3, Informative)

    by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:46AM (#32663712) Homepage Journal

    That's very different than getting that information, "for free", with every request for an ad image. Adding the latency to query the ISP for the information before returning the ad would make the image load too slowly, and adding the API traffic would be pretty expensive in terms of open socket connections.

  • Re:Why not? (Score:3, Informative)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @08:49AM (#32663726)
    I might not have a problem with that, but my town is small enough that my zip+4 uniquely identifies my family's PO box.

    That's true of nearly any PO Box. At the same time, narrowing it down to a single PO Box really does nothing to help them since your 'location' is wherever the post office is located, which they could have figured out from the regular 5 digit zip code.
  • That's stupid... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:16AM (#32663930)

    FTFA as an example of what it could be used for: "For instance, HBO could partner with an ISP to verify, at the network level, that a certain user subscribes to HBO, and so should be allowed to watch its programming for free on Hulu. Users might be annoyed that they can't use a username and password to watch the channel from a computer outside their homes, but content providers will appreciate the way this system can prevent users from sharing accounts."

    It would be bullsh*t if they did that. I watch Hulu BECAUSE I can't afford to subscribe to HBO. I participate in the Hulu "ad tailoring" and don't mind the ads they play because, again, I CAN'T AFFORD to have a cable bill AND a high speed internet bill. I know a lot of people are in the same situation. If they did institute that I'd probably read a lot more, that's for sure.

  • Re:HTTPS ... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:36AM (#32664188)

    So they just add it to the TLS handshake...
    See TLS Extensions [].

    Extended hello format:

    struct {
                        ProtocolVersion client_version;
                        Random random;
                        SessionID session_id;
                        CipherSuite cipher_suites;
                        CompressionMethod compression_methods;
                        Extension client_hello_extension_list;
                } ClientHello;

    They can put whatever they want in there without corrupting the handshake.
    (Though, I may be wrong, any TLS geeks care to comment?)

  • Re:Why not? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Shakrai ( 717556 ) * on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @09:45AM (#32664286) Journal

    Not quite. Zip+4 narrows it down to no more than 100 possibilities, but you need to know the delivery point [] to get the exact address. The USPS represents every single deliverable address in the country with an eleven digit number. Five digits of zip code, four digits of +4 extension and two digits of delivery point. You can find your delivery point code by using the USPS zip code finder [] and clicking on "mailing industry information".

    There are a few exceptions to this rule of course. Most PO boxes have a unique zip+4 code, so the delivery point is redundant for them.

  • I've got a FEEVA (Score:2, Informative)

    by illumynite ( 239768 ) <<illumynite> <at> <>> on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @12:08PM (#32666126) Homepage

    And the only PRESCRIPTION, is more COWBELL

  • Proxy (Score:2, Informative)

    by Archwyrm ( 670653 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:13PM (#32667976) Homepage
    If this becomes a problem, I'll just route all my traffic through an ssh proxy on my VPS. Let them tailor their ads to the datacenter in Dallas. Not that I will be seeing them with AdBlock on anyway..

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!