And by dammit!
We have a god-given right to a profit, irrespective of what the end user wants or needs!
Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of industry group the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), thinks the Mozilla Foundation's policy on third-party cookies is way out of line, and he's taken to the web with a 4,000-word screed essay to make his case. It was in February that Mozilla first said that a future version of its …
Not only a god-given right to a profit, but a god-given right to annoy others. Besides, his "anti-business value system" concept is completely wrong. If a company hasn't annoyed me, I'm more likely to buy their product if I decide I have a use for it. Ad blocking actually does some companies a favour.
There has grown up in the minds of certain groups in this country the notion that because a man or corporation has made a profit out of the public for a number of years, the government and the courts are charged with the duty of guaranteeing such profit in the future, even in the face of changing circumstances and contrary to public interest. This strange doctrine is not supported by statute or common law. Neither individuals nor corporations have any right to come into court and ask that the clock of history be stopped, or turned back.
Robert A. Heinlein, Life-Line (1939)
A bit strong on the rhetoric, there. Blocking third party cookies will lead to an Internet Apocalypse? Small businesses will perish? Who cares if there's a whitelist? Blocking third-party cookies is BAD! DON'T DO IT!
*checks to make sure ABP and Ghostery are up-to-date*
You're wasting my oxygen, Mr. Rothenberg.
Apart from the third party cookies you may need for your shopping cart. I would have thought the blocking of tracking cookies does a favour for the small business. These sort of things strike me as the realm of the companies that can afford big marketing departments and talk of things like metrics. Not some little online shop.
Nice one Mozilla your helping the small business stay competitive.
First thing I do with a new browser is unset acceptance of third-party cookies. I've never had that stop me ordering anything on line. (NoScript has when the site calls in things that aren't actually on the calling page for card validation, but that is different; annoying, but different.)
Poor little sausage. All those nasty non advertising people not wanting crap shoved at them from ever corner.. The monsters..
And no.. The internet would not does tomorrow if ad revenue went away. There was an internet pre OCD tacking of everything. And there will be one after.
So exactly how does Mr. Rothenberg define liberty and freedom? Certainly if he is free to cast his cookies about then someone else if equally free to burn them. Perhaps he welcomes the tons of junk mail that comes to his door and maybe he would appreciate little gps trackers in every piece of junk mail he must love to carry around. Personally, I keep a shredding bin right next to the inbox and it probably digests a good 95% of all snail mail. Now all I need is a device that can automatically sort and shred. I'd just skip the sorting altogether if it weren't for those occasional but still pesky jury duty notices.
Wrote :- "I also made a 'Junk mail please' sign for my recycle bin that lives next to it.
The leaflet delivery person gets paid, I never see the stuff."
Actually, they don't necessarily. People who distribute unaddressed mail get paid to deliver x number. If they miss out a house because of such a sign, they must go to a further house to post it. Of course they could bin it (or the whole lot) but the agencies who handle this stuff do spot checks. My wife once delivered Yellow Pages (but people rarely object to receiving that) and that's how it worked. I don't know how it works with the Post Office though.
"Personally, I keep a shredding bin right next to the inbox and it probably digests a good 95% of all snail mail. "
Never shred addressed junk mail! The marketing b@stards assume if it isn't returned that it has been successfully delivered, meanwhile you're paying for the shredder and the electricity to dispose of it. If you return it with "not known at this address" written on it, then (a) they have to pay the return postage, and (b) they knock you off most mailing lists because they don't have a name or any segmentation information for the next advertised campaign. And because the less scrupulous will sell on lists of presumed-to-be-valid addresses, you want your name knocked off the list as soon as possible. If you're already on a lot of junk mail address lists, then investing a few quid in having a stamp made up that says "Return to sender, not known at this address" could simplify the fight back, as well as being deeply satisfying to apply.
I've yet to come across a junk mail sender who uses or updates the real customer address file (junk mail almost always comes from third party mailing fulfilment businesses, or in house captive junk mailers, who use an externally compiled mailing list), so telling the marketing droids that you don't live there has no consequences for any service that you actually want.
Here in the UK, 1st sign up to the Mail Preference Service @ http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/mpsr/ to stop the majority of mail. It actually seems to work.
To nail most of the remaining stuff read http://www.royalmail.com/personal/help-and-support/how-do-I-stop-receiving-any-leaflets-or-unaddressed-promotional-material, has been claimed it's a sacking offence for you're postie to tell you about the opt-out!
I used to send the return envelopes back with newspaper clippings and other things I thought might be of interest. Even though I was only able to get about 4 ounces of material into the envelope I'm sure AT&T and the credit card companies thoroughly enjoyed what I sent since it wasn't long before they stopped asking for more.
How insensitive to the needs of capitalists: Mozilla, parents and others are being simply evil. Just think for a moment about all that cash waiting to be scooped up by advertisers, and the more refined purveyers of all sorts of rather lucrative enterprises. Since commerce is to be more highly valued, we should stop discouraging Internet commerce in children, slaves, sex workers, and illegal substances.
Just think about all those children...
"[Third-party cookies] have been part of the way Internet advertising has been delivered, measured, analyzed, optimized, and compensated for more than 15 years," he railed. "Were they to be embargoed tomorrow, billions of dollars in Internet advertising ... would disappear."
Cry me a river you perkeleen vittupää.
It seems to me that all this moaning about with respect to Third Party Cookies is nothing but a colossal distraction to keep everyone's attention away from the countless other methods which can be employed to track a given user.
If I recall correctly there has been ways to track through plugins, for instance. Adobe Flash comes to mind though Adobe "might" have "addressed" it by now.
Also, read up on EFF's Panopticlick. It's a worthwhile site to check out if you haven't already. I found it quite interesting at least and wouldn't be all too surprised if similar methods are already (at least partially) employed in order increase tracking efficiency.
Also, doesn't Safari already block Third Party Cookies?
While I was fiddling around with a temporary OS X installation I decided to check Safari out and realized that Third Party Cookies were disabled by default in its preferences. This was a clean installation too. I might be wrong here but I'm quite confident that this is the case.
Now of course one might argue that Safari's "market share" isn't exactly up there (not on desktops at least) and even the most die-hard Apple fans I've come across outright refuse to use it for any purpose other than to download another browser but it still has to account for *something*.
Yes, Safari does indeed block third-party cookies; you're not wrong. It's a perfectly adequate web browser, by the way, and judging from browser market share stats, a large majority of Mac users don't bother with anything else, so yeah I'd say it accounts for something. Namely, it accounts for evil Mac users destroying the web economy! Woo!
"While I was fiddling around with a temporary OS X installation I decided to check Safari out and realized that Third Party Cookies were disabled by default in its preferences."
Does that include Apples ad network cookies, it's Apples browser running on Apples computer, that would make the cookies theirs not third party.
Err... I mean the advertising useless crap that I don't care about. If I'm at Newegg and they want to target me with ads about something that's related to other stuff I've browsed there, thank you. Same with any other site. It's bad enough to see the crapvertising that's based on my IP address, telling me that Obama commands me to get new car insurance, or I should contribute to some turd's reelection campaign in the armpit of my state. If I want to block third-party cookies, that's my choice.
Now if only there was a way to modify those third-party cookies into something malformed that made their database drop a huge load all over the floor....
And to take a quote out of context:
For it must be greatly inconvenient to thieves and cut-throats, who have engaged in this way of life, and run great risks in acquiring skill in their employment, to be obliged all at once to withdraw their hands, and lay aside picking locks, and apply themselves to industry in other ways, for a livelihood.
Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Modern Chivalry.
To Rothenberg, however, the idea of a browser that knows how to block cookies from selective sources is not only abhorrent, but it could mean the destruction of an entire segment of the global economy.
There's already at least one browser that knows how to block cookies from selective sources. It's called Mozilla Firefox. It's not a default state and the user has to select this option manually but the option is there.
"There's already at least one browser that knows how to block cookies from selective sources. It's called Mozilla Firefox. It's not a default state and the user has to select this option manually but the option is there."
At one point, Mozilla made changes to how that particular feature worked. The changes were incredibly annoying, and provoked a bug report/change request. In the Bugzilla discussion, the Mozilla devs made their distaste for that feature plain. I strongly suspect that if they start blocking 3rd-party cookies by default, that feature will go away.
We don't want your ads.
We set our browsers to block everything but the originating cookies ("First Party"), and even those we have it set to prompt us if we want to allow it be set.
We use HOSTS files to block your ad servers straight to >Dev>Null and thus render your attempts fruitless.
We use extensions & plug in's to block, scramble, thwart, and f4 up any data you *might* manage to get, so suddenly I appear as a 98 year old Retired Woman whom makes $10BUSD per year, on Social Security, homeless with a $92MUSD home & 54 mortgages, no car but just having purchased a $200KUSD Lexus Hybrid SUV (that doesn't exist), and I live in the area code "90210", but list my address as in Washington DC...
In other words, you won't get any data out of me, I refuse to let you data mine me, I refuse to view your advertisements, and you can just go f4 a pig.
I don't read SnailMail spam, ink stamping it "REFUSED" and dropping it back in the box for the carrier to grab the next day.
(Thus *costing you more money*.)
I don't watch advertisements on tv, because as soon as they begin, I hit MUTE & leave the room.
(Bathroom break, refill the drink, get munchies, etc.)
I don't read email Spam, and bounce it to the original domain, plus the upstream providers, marked as Unsolicited Commercial Email. Then I add the domain to the Auto-Perma-Bounce-&-Delete rules list, so I never deal with it again.
In short, you don't get to advertise to me.
You speak of freedom & liberty.
Well, your freedom to market does *NOT* mean a freedom to violate MY freedom to tell you to go F4 yourself & Die.
Don't try to blow smoke up my a3 claiming my refuseal of viewing your ads is going to lead to the downfall of the internet.
I was part of the 'net before it became commercialized with all the ad crap, and I'll still be on it long after your ilk have been stood up against the wall & executed like the social s4 stains that you are.
So Shut The F4 Up, Get The F4 Out, F4 Off And Die, & Have A Nice Death.
Wrote :- "I don't watch advertisements on tv, because as soon as they begin, I hit MUTE & leave the room."
Totally agree, except this bit. I record it and skip the adverts altogether. "
OK to record films, but not always practicable otherwise. Things like sports coverage I want to see in real time. I mute the adverts and read a book that I keep to hand. It is suprising how much reading you get through / lifetime the adverts would have wasted.
because you're 0.0000001% of the population. And the 99.9999999 don't give a flying monkey fuck that we spy on them in all possible, and some impossible ways. In fact, they haven't even got to the stage of not giving a flying monkey fuck, they're FIRMLY stuck at the stage of "Oh? I didn't know it's possible?".
but hey, that statement we issued and the media are reproducing? Surely got us noticed, ha!
I think its done deliberately to confuse American tourists - a bit like how you can get a train from Norwich to both Liverpool Street station and Liverpool Lime Street!
Its quite clever when you think about it - all those unnecessary train journeys by foreigners add quite a bit to our economy once you add them all up! British inventiveness at its best!
The Internet Advertising industry brought in on themselves. While there are sites I accept advertising from, I will *not* allow J Random Site to beam possible malware-infested advertising at me. But the industry has rejected any sort of attempt at minimising the impact of their rogue elements. Result? *Everyone* in the industry gets the finger.
Controls should of course be accessible to selectively turn on the more advanced features needed to gain access to some sites.
"[Third-party cookies] have been part of the way Internet advertising has been delivered, measured, analyzed, optimized, and compensated for more than 15 years," he railed. "Were they to be embargoed tomorrow, billions of dollars in Internet advertising and hundreds of thousands of jobs dependent on it would disappear."
In the same way heroin has provided countless employment opportunities and been a part of the human ecosystem for many years. Were it to become embargoed tomorrow billions of dollars in drug manufacture and distribution and hundreds of thousands of dependent dealers would disappear.
Just because it makes money that alone doesn't make ethical, right or desirable. Three words that will never appear next to Mr Rothenberg's name unless it's under the heading "What is Mr Rothenberg not?"
Funny I thought it was the sociopathetic spying and data mining advertisers that were responsible for ruining the internet and making me unplug more often...This same type of guy was responsible for the Net 2.0 advertising model, with treasures like Flash Cookies… ETAGs… and hidden Cached Sessions.... see ‘Hulu’ tracking scandal etc….
"[Third-party cookies] have been part of the way Internet advertising has been delivered, measured, analyzed, optimized, and compensated for more than 15 years,"
And customers have been maddened by their existence, invasion of privacy, and consumption of computer resources since their inception.
Blind, mass market advertising was the way of the marketing world for decades. If precedent is what he wishes to go on, then he should support a complete ban on internet advertising.
""anti-business value system". I rather think he means open-source. If Adblock-plus didn't exist, I'd have to write it. If Mozilla didn't support plug-ins, I'd have to fork it.
If someone pasted adverts on your garden wall, you'd be right to be annoyed and the fly-poster would be breaking the law. Why is pasting adverts all over my screen any different? (Apart from some of them being malware-insertion attempts ... akin to pasting with toxin-laced glue? )
Once, someone wrote an app to sign up a spammer's home address to every source of physical junk snail-mail the algorithm could find. About a hundredweight per day! Not sure about the legalities, but burying the bastard in his own effluent is a lovely thought.
Given that the current situation is that the vast majority of the internet is ad-funded, exactly what is "Plan B"?
You'll need to have one, unless your sole aim is to tear it all down and leave it in bits on the floor.
Anyone got any constructive ideas, or is "Ads is business, business is bad, ugh, hit with rock" the sum total of the argument on the other side of the fence here?
As far as businesses are concerned - they need the Plan B. How they fund their on-line operations is their own affair.
As far as us sheep are concerned, I guess it's valid to ask what our Plan B is for the situation where free, useful/entertaining sites vanish because they can no longer be funded. I guess we do something less frivolous with our time.
You have asked a fair question, though. I don't think the death of advertising would tear down the internet, but it would certainly change it significantly, in particular leading to a steep rise in subscription-only sites and cooperative ventures (vs solo self-interest ones). On the plus side, it might get rid of a lot of the crap sites out there which exist solely on advertising income derived from scraping others, which would be a bonus.
You talk as if it's all-or-nothing, when there's many shades to choose from. Non-intrusive adverts that don't phone home, run scripts, risk my network security and/or follow me? I'm not going to mind that any more than I mind a poster on a bus shelter.
If advertisers didn't take liberties, we'd not want to take them back.
Plan B. Stop all intrusive advertizing. Work with Google so if I want to find out about your product, I can. Work on your product, so happy customers will recommend you to their friends. In particular, make sure that your post-sales sustomer support is A1. Nothing makes me more likely to buy than hearing from a trusted third party that when something went wrong, it was put right with an absolute minimum of hassle!
My philosophy is always to be a buyer, never to be a sellee. Any attempt to pressurize me into buying just annoys me. Charities that employ chuggers get written out of my will, if they were ever mentioned. Spam of any sort gets your organisation added to my buy-last list. And so on. You ought to be happy I can use Adblock-plus. If I had to mentally filter those adverts, a lot more of you would be on my mental do-not-touch-with-a-bargepole list!
I can think of an organisation that espouses most if not all of the above. It's called John Lewis. It's rather successful.
'Given that the current situation is that the vast majority of the internet is ad-funded, exactly what is "Plan B"?'
Simple. Let the corporate morons simply hand over to "the vast majority of the Internet" the money they now spend on advertising. It won't make any difference to anyone who matters.
Incidentally, I question your premise. As far as I know, most Internet sites are funded either by the corporations or the individuals who own them. It costs little enough to run a modest Web site, and if you want a bigger one there are plenty of ways of making it pay for itself without advert-whoring.
My telephone too when it comes to telesales, and my time. I live in Italy and, although I understand and speak Italian just fine, I always speak to Italian telesales callers in English. And I always have to explain that it's my phone and they are calling me, on my time, to sell me something, and that I have no obligation to respond to them in a language of their choice. At least I get to have some fun while they are interrupting my day.
If I still lived in the UK I'd probably respond to telesales calls in Italian. A foreign language has many uses.
It clearly doesn't enter his head that this will only be a success because people will adopt it because they don't WANT to be "advertised at".
MY household, like many others, pay extra to one of the major TV players or another mainly for the ability to schedule our own viewing and, bar sports/live events, SKIP THE ADVERTS.
If we enjoyed, or desired adverts this would not be the case.
Randall Rothenberg, the guy you will love to hate...
There was a time, when the Internet was to exchange knowledge, to share ideas, to communicate. It was so long ago it sounds now like legendary times.
Thanks to people like Mr. Rothenberg, The internet became a giant marketplace where snake oil vendors try to force their sh*t through our throat and sell us, sell us and sell us again their junk ad nauseam.
If I want to buy something I will go in a store. I have no need to live into one 24 hours a day surrounded by ads trying to convince me I'm the best and I deserve to get the next Iphone 12.
To put it nicely, Haista vittu.
"The internet became a giant marketplace where snake oil vendors try to force their sh*t through our throat and sell us, sell us and sell us again their junk ad nauseam."
That reminds me of a remarkably similar comment I remembering reading about - from 90 years ago. It was uttered by H.G. Wells, and he was talking about how wireless would soon descend into the depths of commercial pollution. How right he was!
'Mozilla, Rothenberg wrote, exists "inside a cocoon spun by techno-libertarians and academic elites who believe in liberty and freedom for all, as long as they get to decide the definitions of liberty and freedom."'
If you don't like our cocoon, stay out of it and advertise elsewhere.
I don't know if the Web is a "cocoon" - is there an RFC for cocoons? - but it was spun by some techno-libertarians whom I respect immensely - and to whom I am very grateful.
I do know that TBL, for instance, does believe in "liberty and freedom" [sic] for all, and that he DOESN'T want to decide the definitions. Actually, any honest person understands what freedom means.
The Web was designed to make it easy for all people, everywhere, to communicate about whatever they wish. One thing it was NOT designed for was to give freeloading parasites who contributed nothing to it a chance to enrich themselves without effort.
OK 2 scenarios, your on a limited data usage! lets say 500mb a month and the pointless adverts that flood your way cost you up to 100mb a month who pays for that! Scenario 2! your bidding on eBay on a moderately slow internet connection and the ad's as ever begin to load first. Your outbid as it took too long to load due to advertising. What about the small high street shop that was driven out of business by internet advertising. Online advertising is in no doubt part of the world recession due to people buying cheap goods from China. Banks then mishandling investments just tipped the balance. Google, Amazon all feed on greed. I use no script to block ad frames...they simply don't appear on my screen.Advertising is money for nothing.....who benefits to ad's that have absolutely nothing to do with you regardless of targeted cookies...not bloody you matey that's for sure. I have never in 20 years of internet ever once been influenced by an ad on the screen. In fact I find nearly all ad's very much American and heavily biased towards Americans (like the majority of the internet is) . Cookies are crapoware you wouldn't install a virus WOULD YOU....why have third party cookies.
And the adman thinks that commerce invented the internet ?
While much of the development of the net has been down to porn and other greed merchants, part of what makes using the net so irritating (waiting for slow ad pages to load before you can see editorial) is the very commerce which claims to support it.
Personally, I'd categorise cookie tracking and pester advertising on web pages as essentially in the same category as phishing, spam, ransomware and stalking.
Basically, commerce has hijacked the internet and anyone who helps resist that is to be commended.
I have two pertinent quotes I would like to share with you:
"Kill yourself, seriously." - Bill Hicks
"F*** you, I won't do what you tell me." - Rage Against the Machine
P.S. Can I have a list of your clients so I can tell them I won't be buying any more of their products as long as they do business with you?
Where does Randall Rothenberg think advertising revenue comes from in the first place? It isn't magicked out of thin air or donated by benevolent companies from some secret store of cash. The money ultimately comes from end customers, and part of the purchase cost goes on trying to get them to spend more money. The advertising industry has a strange sense of entitlement: "we want your attention so we can try to sell you things", but as a consumer I reserve the right to invite them to go forth and multiply if it's something I know I don't want and certainly don't want to pay for.
I would happily put up with a degree of simple advertising on some sites, as long as it doesn't get in the way of what I'm doing.
I don't object to street posters advertising stuff at me. I *would* object if they started putting barriers across the pavement that I had to read before I could carry on walking.
I started using ad blockers when web pages started pushing stupid flashing banners, pop ups and other equally intrusive crap in front of me that stopped me getting on with what I needed to do.
I don't mind paying for goods and services if I know the price and agree it.
I dodge cookies because they are a form of undisclosed charge. In effect they are taking payment for whatever they provide, good or bad, by picking our digital pockets and taking our personal data.
Business is not a bad thing in and of itself. You'd probably find life quite uncomfortable without it, seeing as you would lack little perks like electricity, communication, running water, medical care, and so forth; additionally you would probably spend the vast majority of your time trying to grow enough food to stay alive. (Buying food from someone else, of course, is right out, because that would be supporting an evil satanic anti-people business!)
I get what you're saying here, but it's unfair to tar *business* with the brush meant for *marketers*. They're different things.
David W, I think your reply is a little disingenuous. Nowhere did I say that "business" itself is a bad thing - although the word has certain creepiness about it. It connotes people who will do anything for money. But nowadays, it has to stand duty for all the useful activities you listed.
What I object to is the phrase "business values". It's a good rule of thumb that people who talk about values don't have any, and often don't know what the word means. That phrase mostly comes from people who con and screw their customers, their suppliers, their employees, and for all I know their families.
I've blocked 3rd party cookies in every browser I've used for about 15 years. I think the first was Netscape Navigator 4. And that includes browsers from his friends at Microsoft.
These days I use Ghostery as well and not only stop their insidious tracking and profiling attempts to reduce the human race to a book of numbers but rarely even see their adverts. If they hadn't stooped to such depths I wouldn't have been forced to respond in kind and they would have made more money.
All I can detect from Randall Rothenberg's spleen venting is the whiff of mendacity. His interest in the Internet extends solely to its use as a vehicle or platform from which advertisers can profit. All the rest is mendacious drivel. The entire raison d'être of the IAB, which Rothenberg represents, is the exploitation of the Internet to maximise profits for businesses who advertise there.
It's not dissimilar to advertising sponsored tv, which really does exist as a service to advertisers, not as a service to viewers. The reality is that Rothenberg and his ilk are against the concept of consumer choice, except in the limited sense that the choice should be foisted on you by the likes of him and that you don't have the choice to ignore him. In other spheres of human activity we call those kind of people tyrants and dictators. You have to imagine Rothberg's diatribe above being delivered from a balcony in Rome by a fat, dull-witted Mussolini-like figure to get the right effect.
The man is so pointless that he couldn't even serve as a replacement body part for the excretion of bodily fluid or solid waste.
We didn't mind a few banner adverts, but the ad-people took it a bit far once they started tracking people.
Obviously an advert that is successful is one that is shown to the person who is most likely to be interested in buying the item. But that's no excuse for doing what they have done. You can use the actual site someone is on as a basis for what they are interested in.
It's just the attitude you expect from the dodgier advertisers, but the serious points are about how and why people / businesses turn a buck on-line. For some it's the only way to make their bread, for others it's a useful extra revenue stream.
The real issue is about the contract the Randal Rothenbergs (isn't that the name of slimy reptile off Monsters Inc?) of this world think we should all be forced to agree to, regardless of what we, the users prefer to do with our online activity information.
If you run an information website that is mostly supported by advertising, I reckon it's fair enough for those websites to say
"hey, if you want to read our site, you have to let us set cookies, and then mine and sell on your viewing habits while you're here - that's how we make the dough to provide our information you like so much.".
Now if you like the website info a lot, and could trust the website / their advertising "partners" to use your cookie information responsibly maybe you wouldn't mind.
But what with the humungous numbers of third party domains trying to set cookies and run scripts, even on supposedly trustworthy sites like the banks and big online retailers, most of us don't have time to work out who all these different outfits are and whether they can be trusted - even tech savvy El Reg readers. My mum still struggles to fire up her PC, so asking her and teh hordes of other non-techies that make up 90% of the users to make that kind of judgement is unfair and unreasonable.
If the advertisers / website owners could be trusted to do the right thing, maybe we could have a independant, workable advert/cookie preference service like the UK's Telephone and Mail Preference . services.
But they can't so we can't. Switch them all off by default and nuke'em all from space - it's the only safe thing to do!
As a small businessman, I can say for my part that this dude like, totally does not speak for me.
Somehow I've managed to build my business without using banner advertising, without using any cookies at all, and without requesting any information from any potential customers.
THE DICKENS YOU SAY!
Well, I was really sneaky! I made a neat product that people are interested in. I put some videos of it up and because people think they're neat, they share them. Eventually, people who may want to purchase my product hear about it, and then they visit my web site and send me email asking to buy things!
Inexplicably, all of this happens without anything whatsoever being "delivered, measured, analyzed, optimized, and compensated"!
Remarkable, isn't it?