back to article NebuAd makes meal of opt-out cookie

As it prepares for a Congressional pow-wow on the "Privacy Implications of Online Advertising," behavioral ad targeter NebuAd has vowed to eat its infamous opt-out cookie. "NebuAd is...developing a network-based opt-out mechanism that is not reliant on web browser cookies," reads a company press release. "Leveraging this …


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  1. 3x2


    <...>NebuAd is...developing a network-based opt-out mechanism that is not reliant on web browser cookies<...>

    Everyone else calls it a separate proxy server.

  2. Ash
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    To ISPs World Wide...


  3. James O'Brien
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    I think this is about the most sensible thing I have heard about so far with all of these companies. Out-out cookie my ass.

  4. Sir Runcible Spoon

    Legal advice

    One wonders if (any) legal advice that NebuAd received was from the same (unknown) source as that touted by BT. (Namely Ernst & Young! lol)

  5. Robb Topolski
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    Two other Press Release items of Note

    First, NebuAd does -not- say that its newer Opt-Out method will prevent the users data from being provided by the ISP. In fact, the only thing they will say is that it will "honor their opt-out choices in a more persistent manner." The perceived evil of NebuAd isn't the targeted ads, it isn't even NebuAd so much -- it's that an ISP is providing everything that I see and say to an untrusted 3rd party.

    Second, NebuAd slipped in some other hard news. They said, "NebuAd previously eliminated the page-appended mechanism for pixel tag distribution, referred to in recent media reports." In other words, they're no longer piggybacking on,, or in order to force-load the cookies that identify profiled users to their partner ad networks.

    Robb Topolski

    PS: Special thanks to TheRegister and Cade Metz who has done a great job covering this story!

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Ha ha

    I like the "Leveraging this advanced technology..." bit. What bull! Like attaching an attribute to a customer's account is so hard no-one has ever quite managed to do it before.

    It couldn't possibly be that they don't want you to stay opted out could it? No, that'd be dishonest of them, wouldn't it?

    The boffin, because obviously NebuAd needs lots of them for doing such difficult stuff.

  7. RW
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    Re: Legal Advice

    When some scumbag outfit starts gabbling about "legal advice', just remember who paid for it. As the old adage has it, "He who pays the piper names the tune."

    This is especially the case when "legal advice" is spewed forth as part of a propaganda campaign.

  8. halfcut

    Shirley opt-out cookie just means they're going to rape your details like normal; but adds the value "yes" into the 'known_to_be_cranky' field

  9. Richard Bennett

    The Senate hearing today was interesting

    It turns out NebuAd has been anonymizing its data all along. I don't know if it makes a difference legally, but it does change the aesthetics of the system. They make a one-way hash out of IP addresses, and pass anonymous information to advertisers tied to the hash.

    I'm sure they're doing something totally illegal, but there's a certain evil cleverness to the system that I admire (no, this is not an endorsement.)

    I don't know why the movie pirates are so torqued about NebuAd, as it doesn't seem to affect them.

  10. GettinSadda

    Even anonymous is not good enough!

    Being anonymous is not enough. I just don't want my data being passed around to others - it's my personal data!

    Oh, and by the way - I posted naked pictures of you on the Internet, but don't worry because I blurred your face so they are now anonymous!

  11. Ken Hagan Gold badge

    Not a very telecoms-savvy attorney actually

    ' "The purpose and techniques of true wiretapping are really very different from tracking someone on the internet," says Jonathan Kramer, a telecoms-savvy attorney with the Kramer Telecom Law Firm. '

    No they bleedin' well aren't. In both cases you are invading the punter's privacy for your benefit and to the disadvantage of the punter. (If it weren't so, they'd be happy to offer an opt-in. Duh!) Does this twat think that phishing for someone's online bank details is "really very different" from nicking their chequebook and forging their signature?

    If this is what passes for telecoms-savvy amongst lawyers then a whole lotta stuff suddenly starts to make sense.

  12. Snert Lee

    affirmatively subscribe

    Would this require anything more than a couple sentences added to the ISP's terms and conditions of service saying something along the lines of by using our service you agree to opt-in to the monitoring service, and you further agree that clicking on the "I agree" button counts as a signature on a written consent form for this agreement and all terms therein?

    Most online terms and conditions documents that I've read through already include something along the lines of "oh, by the way, you also agree that the service provider can change these terms at any time, and that updating the terms and conditions webpage counts as proper notice of any changes."

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