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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Thursday, May 19, 2022

The average American has their personal information shared in an online ad bidding war 747 times a day. For the average EU citizen, that number is 376 times a day. In one year, 178 trillion instances of the same bidding war happen online in the US and EU.

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...That's according to data shared by the Irish Council on Civil Liberties in a report detailing the extent of real-time bidding (RTB), the technology that drives almost all online advertising and which it said relies on sharing of personal information without user consent.

The RTB industry was worth more than $117 billion last year, the ICCL report said. As with all things in its study, those numbers only apply to the US and Europe, which means the actual value of the market is likely much higher.

Real-time bidding involves the sharing of information about internet users, and it happens whenever a user lands on a website that serves ads. Information shared with advertisers can include nearly anything that would help them better target ads, and those advertisers bid on the ad space based on the information the ad network provides.

That data can be practically anything based on the Interactive Advertising Bureau's (IAB) audience taxonomy. The basics, of course, like age, sex, location, income and the like are included, but it doesn't stop there. All sorts of websites fingerprint their visitors - even charities treating mental health conditions - and those fingerprints can later be used to target ads on unrelated websites.

Google owns the largest ad network that was included in the ICCL's report, and it alone offers RTB data to 4,698 companies in just the US. Other large advertising networks include Xandr, owned by Microsoft since late 2021, Verizon, PubMatic and more. ...


#1 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-05-19 10:44 AM | Reply

Related...

Researchers find Amazon uses Alexa voice data to target you with ads
www.theverge.com

...A report released last week contends that Amazon uses voice data from its Echo devices to serve targeted ads on its own platforms and the web. The report, produced by researchers affiliated with the University of Washington, UC Davis, UC Irvine, and Northeastern University, said the ways Amazon does this is inconsistent with its privacy policies.

Titled, "Your Echos are Heard: Tracking, Profiling, and Ad Targeting in the Amazon Smart Speaker Ecosystem," the report concludes that Amazon and third parties (including advertising and tracking services) collect data from your interactions with Alexa through Echo smart speakers and share it with as many as 41 advertising partners. That data is then used to "infer user interests" and "serve targeted ads on-platform (Echo devices) as well as off-platform (web)." It also concludes that this type of data is in hot demand, leading to "30X higher ad bids from advertisers."

Amazon confirmed to The Verge that it does use voice data from Alexa interactions to inform relevant ads shown on Amazon or other sites where Amazon places ads. "Similar to what you'd experience if you made a purchase on Amazon.com or requested a song through Amazon Music, if you ask Alexa to order paper towels or to play a song on Amazon Music, the record of that purchase or song play may inform relevant ads shown on Amazon or other sites where Amazon places ads." Amazon spokesperson Lauren Raemhild said in an email.

The company also confirmed there are targeted ads on its smart speakers. "Customers may receive interest-based ads when they use ad-supported premium content -- like music, radio or news streams," said Raemhild, pointing out that this is the same experience if they engaged with that content on other channels.

She went on to say that Amazon does not share voice recordings with developers. "Developers get the information necessary to fulfill your requests within their skills, such as answers when you play a trivia skill, or the name of the song you want to play," she said. "We do not share our customers' personal information to third-party skills without the customer's consent." Amazon allows Alexa users to opt out of ad targeting as well (see sidebar)....



#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-05-19 11:04 AM | Reply

Yep. Your data is no longer your data. The more we try to fight protecting data instead of unweaponizing it, the longer we will go without any fixes. Data can't be protected anymore, not with the current Internet infrastructure. It would take a wholly new type of infrastructure, one that identifies everyone on the Internet and their activities, in order to stop this. Which won't happen, of course. The main reason this is the case is because the average person can't be bothered with learning and applying good cyber hygiene. Companies place precedence over convenience for customers, and customers demand it, which ensures security will always be lower on the totem pole than other factors. This is my job every day, and one that is rarely won against executives no matter where you go.

#3 | Posted by humtake at 2022-05-19 12:48 PM | Reply

@#3 ... The more we try to fight protecting data instead of unweaponizing it ...

Preventing data from being weaponized is a part of protecting it.

#4 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-05-19 12:51 PM | Reply

@#4 ... Companies place precedence over convenience for customers, and customers demand it, which ensures security will always be lower on the totem pole than other factors. ...

Companies place convenience over security. But that prioritization is reversing, slowly though. Some say not quickly enough. For example, a year ago my bank did not require two-factor authentication to log into my account, now they do (even though it is less convenient for me).

 

... The main reason this is the case is because the average person can't be bothered with learning and applying good cyber hygiene. ...

This is not about cyber hygiene.

It is about ad companies bidding for private information for their business use.

Your comment is looking at the wrong problem (not surprisingly).

Before you can solve a problem, you have to correctly identify the problem.



#5 | Posted by LampLighter at 2022-05-19 01:05 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

I was hoping for an even thousand.

#6 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2022-05-19 04:19 PM | Reply

So do browser apps like DuckDuckGo and Firefox who claim to protect your privacy really work then?

#7 | Posted by shane at 2022-05-20 09:41 AM | Reply

Re 7

Depends on the user.

But I am going with most likely not. Very few internet users really know how to protect their data. Especially millennials. And it's unlikely that they stick to it even if they try.

#8 | Posted by donnerboy at 2022-05-20 11:34 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

So do browser apps like DuckDuckGo and Firefox who claim to protect your privacy really work then?
#7 | POSTED BY SHANE

They don't offer complete protection, but then nothing does.

Probably the best browser protection is from a browser called Brave.

#9 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-05-20 11:40 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Privacy as we knew it before the Internet is dead.

#10 | Posted by FasterDisaster at 2022-05-20 03:10 PM | Reply

Privacy has been aborted by the GOP appointees to the Supreme Court.

Perfect timing!

#11 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-05-20 03:14 PM | Reply

Put some shea butter on that comment. It's gonna leave stretch marks!

#12 | Posted by FasterDisaster at 2022-05-20 04:11 PM | Reply

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