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14 March, 2009

Google's new advertising move

Google, comparing to other major search engines, is without a doubt the preferred search engine of open-source extremists. Google also paid millions to open-source extremists' beloved Mozilla foundation. Here's the latest news regarding the world's biggest search engine company.

Google wants to study your browser history in order to provide better targeted ads. And consumers have to opt out, not opt in.

To best of my understanding, many open-source extremists have very strong concern about their privacy. Also from my observation, once a company is classified in their "beloved list", many of those open-source extremists would defend everything for that company. Now, I can see a conflict of interests.

Source: Google to launch targeted ads based on your web browsing (News.com.au, 12 March 2009)

GOOGLE plans to use your web browsing history to target online ads, joining an industry trend that has raised privacy concerns.

The new program is dubbed "interest based" advertising, and it's being tested across Google's partner websites and YouTube, according to a company announcement.

Previously, the types of ads that Google served to web surfers were based only on the content of the specific page being viewed.

With behaviour advertising, Google and advertisers will be able to look at an individual's broader web history when deciding which ads to pitch.

"If, for example, you love adventure travel and therefore visit adventure travel sites, Google could show you more ads for activities like hiking trips to Patagonia or African safaris," Google Vice President of Product Management Susan Wojcicki explained on the company's blog, adding that advertisers have been asking Google for such features for a long time.

But US lawmakers are still deciding whether behavioural advertising is OK. They held hearings last year after a company called NebuAd, in a deal with cable company Charter Communication, disclosed a pilot program to track customers.

In announcing the initiative this week, Google said privacy issues were an important consideration.

"This kind of tailored advertising does raise questions about user choice and privacy - questions the whole online ad industry has a responsibility to answer," Ms Wojcicki said.

Google said it has three key safeguards: consumers can choose to opt out of the program; they can edit their profile of preferences based on online activity; and they can click on a button to learn how an ad was pitched to them.

Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said that regardless of Google's efforts to address privacy concerns, the company's new ad program "throws up red flags" for internet privacy.

"This is the internet's largest search company now profiling and tracking internet users. That shouldn't happen," said Mr Rotenberg, adding that his organisation was considering a possible response to Google's move.

But Ari Schwartz, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, said there are Google's plan has positives, including users getting access to their own profile.

"On balance it is a step in the right direction," said Mr Schwartz, whose group was consulted by Google.

But he noted that Google plans to still rely on consumers opting out, rather than in, which most of the public opposes.

Google, the number one internet search engine in Australia, generates 97 per cent of its revenue from advertising.

Much of that comes from text ads that appear alongside search results.

Also, today is Rev. Dr. Wu Yi's birthday. Happy Birthday to Rev. Dr. Wu Yi!

Posted by Antony on 14 March 2009 11:43 PM | newstalk

more March 2009 blogs. (or 2009 blogs)
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comments
This is why ad blocking and disabling persistent cookies is a good thing, although you will never admit that and instead call me a paranoid open-source extremist. Anyway, please note the following:
Google is not my beloved. You also use Google, and I would bet that is because it's the default search engine in your beloved Safari, since you are an Apple extremist. I've even been considering moving my e-mail over from Gmail to my own server for awhile now, and remember that I chose not to buy a gPhone.
Mozilla is not my beloved. I haven't even used the official Firefox builds from Mozilla on a regular basis since Firefox 1.5. Note that the ones I use do not have the automatic update feature, which you had lots of time to rant about but no time to disable.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 15 March 2009 12:57 AM.
I use Live search.

Posted by Dave on 15 March 2009 11:10 AM.
Thanks Ant for the birthday greetings.
However, please always check your posts for grammatical correctness and syntax, todays is all over the shop like a mad womans s**t!
Posted by Rev. Dr. Wu Yi on 15 March 2009 11:36 AM.
Thanks Ant for the birthday greetings.
However, please always check your posts for grammatical correctness and syntax, todays is all over the shop like a mad womans s**t!
Posted by Rev. Dr. Wu Yi on 15 March 2009 11:37 AM.
These damn double posts are a pain in the butt!!
Posted by Rev. Dr. Wu Yi on 15 March 2009 11:38 AM.
Well, Antony does NOT speak English. I can't do much about that.
Posted by Antony Shen on 15 March 2009 12:31 PM.
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