back to article CenturyTel joins Charter in data pimping freeze

Another American ISP has put the skids on its data pimping plans. Last week, under pressure from Congressional big wigs, Charter Communications suspended plans to deploy a Phorm-like behavioral ad targeting service from NebuAd, and over the weekend, Louisiana-based CenturyTel did much the same. "We have delayed implementation …


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  1. Munzly The Hermit

    Not Phorm fitting

    If I visit a website for shopping purposes, I usually know what I want and where to get it. Having made the purchase, I then don't want to be bored silly by repeated ads for something I am no longer searching for. So in my case, and many other's, the whole concept of data-pimping is totally counter-productive. By the time the targeted ads appear, I'm off looking for something else.

  2. Gordon Pryra

    They keep calling it a service!!

    I wish they didn’t think the whole world was so fucking stupid.

    It makes me angrier to be patronised by the scum suckers than have them actually sell my personal information to thieths and conmen

  3. John Widger


    I'm impressed, not. It's bound to be accepted because of the money to be made. Now that's what really matters. Or so I am told.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Tracking == Bad

    Why bother? Your ads are going to be adblocked. All your work matching up the perfect bit of offensive crud with my profile will be wasted.

    Were your useless "service" fully anonymised, I wouldn't care. However, I don't think it is. You are building a list of very personal information linked to a unique ID. Just because that ID is not my name, does not make that acceptable.

    Until advertisers stop using infuriating advertising tactics that look more like browser ambush (flash rollons or coverups, popups, popunders, anything opening in a new window) or attempts to melt my eyeballs (flashing, blinking neon, YOU ARE THE 1,000,000th VISITOR type rubbish) people like me are increasingly going to resort to blocking all flash and javascript and will filter images by using blacklists of known spa^H^H^Hadvertisering servers. Targetting adverts will not help - I don't care what the advert is for, if it is annoying simply by existing.

    More and more I'm thinking that there isn't so much of a divide between spammers and 'mainstream ' marketing. Maybe we need a Phormhaus to block all sites connected to networks that distribute malware, tracking software / cookies, or produce in-your-face adverts?

  5. Colin Millar

    I'm all for it

    Lets face it - it keeps the price of the interweb down for the rest of us - I'd even let em have opt-out if the opt-out was obvious, easy and any-time activated.

    Of course the idiots at Phorm etc could have saved themselves a load of aggro by pushing it as a loyalty/discount scheme - I bet Nectar could get millions of people giving away their nettracks almost overnight - 'sign here for automatic discounts'.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    how to defeat the Phorm/NebuAd based business plan

    I'm assuming here that ISPs will get paid on a per-click basis so all you need to do is not click on ads, if they are not making money from it then it will not be economical to maintain the servers running the crapware.

    Anyone remember LibertySurf? where you paid a tenner for 4 hours free dial-up access a month in return for them displaying a bar at the top of your screen with clickable links to online stores such as Kelkoo running across?

    That was obviously not profitable as they went out of business and subscribers were borged by Tiscali if I remember correctly.

    I got £50 worth of Internet access out of the them before I got the e-mail saying they were going to turn out the lights.

    Posted anymously in case there are still any disgruntled Libertysurf employees who want to demand my details from El Reg.

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