A Microsoft Research paper considers serving web-ads from your own computer

So it is with some interest that I came across today some research by Saikat Guha, a partner at Microsoft Research, which investigates the feasibility of running web ads from localhost – from the user’s own computer. The paper [PDF], entitled Serving Ads from localhost for Performance, Privacy, and Profit, proposes disseminating the software package ‘through adware-style software bundling, shopping discounts, toolbars or other incentives’.

The theoretical system is called ‘Privad’, and the paper sets it out with noble and enabling aims for the end-user, such as removing the need for the user to set ‘Do Not Track’ or other often-obscure privacy options in their browser. The system posits the mediation of an approved and trusted authority such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation or the American Civil Liberties Union as the ‘dealer’ between what the publishers want to show the user and the privacy of the end-user.

via A Microsoft Research paper considers serving web-ads from your own computer.

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