back to article Microsoft's playdate in Google's Privacy Sandbox gets messy

Inspired by Google's Privacy Sandbox ad tech renovation initiative, Microsoft last month announced plans for a "privacy preserving" mechanism to deliver interest-based ads in its Edge browser. As described by Microsoft, the Ad Selection API resembles Google's Protected Audience API, which aims to provide a way to deliver …

  1. abend0c4 Silver badge

    Relevant ads

    "Relevance" is an interesting conceit of the advertising industry.

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Mushroom

    They just don't get it, do they?

    There is no such thing as an advert relevant to a user.

    There are search results, and there are websites being currently read, which indicate directly what a user is *currently* interested in. But might not be interested in tomorrow... and particularly, if I've just bought something, I'm very unlikely to buy another one tomorrow.

    Tracking the users' every activity, down to mouse movements and timings, is intrusive, offensive, and downright bad manners; anyone who allows the scripts to run that facilitate this behaviour have my sympathy (and equally, anyone running a browser built by a company that makes its money through tracking this behaviour should be encouraged to change).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Neil Barnes - Re: They just don't get it, do they?

      Sorry, we can't hear you. We're busy making money here.

    2. Frank Bitterlich
      Flame

      Re: They just don't get it, do they?

      I came here to post pretty much the same.

      What is wrong with the brains of those people who try to sell the concept that "advertising" and "tracking" are the same thing? "Sorry, dear reader of my blog, I need to track your behaviour and interests and clicks and everything, because without advertising I have no income"... I am fine with advertising. I do not tolerate tracking and surveillance. And if you try to conflate these two concepts, you're (a) dishonest and (b) insulting your users by assuming they're stupid.

      And just to make this clear: I don't care who is doing the surveillance – your site, your ad network, my browser, the company that made my browser – the answer is No. Please write that down. "No". Not "No, but if..."; just plain "No."

      Thanks for listening to my rant.

      1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

        Re: They just don't get it, do they?

        The problem is that few people understand the difference - and the ones pushing the advertising deliberately conflate them. So people buying services to get their product ads in front of eyes are told that "we have a load of magic sophisticated algorithms etc. that will get your ad in front of people who are interested in your product" - and so people buy the services from them oblivious to the fact that it's probably the reverse (the "I bought a new fridge yesterday, there's no point advertising fridges to me today as I already have one" issue). The whole ad industry is geared up to maximise their own profits, so the push a narrative that has their targets clients paying for this "targeted" advertising.

        I strongly suspect that the cost/benefit ratio would be better if they stuck to the system the print media has to use - e.g. if your glossy mag is targeted to people who tend to buy fishing gear, then sell ads to people who sell fishing gear. Pay a lot less per click, but each click is more likely to be a genuine interest in your product - plus, if the ads were less intrusive and more trustworthy, people wouldn't put so much effort into blocking them.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No thanks

    The only acceptable advertising is self-promotion and the only acceptable self-promotion is when people aren't already using your product in the first place.

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