Browser extensions that inject ads onto the desktop:
Those behind this operation go by the name 215 Apps, sometimes known as Engaging Apps. They’ve built a network of browser extensions that promise consumers some sort of benefit, such as the ability to download streaming videos, but inject ads into sites across the web. Brought to Ad Age’s attention by online video security firm Telemetry, 215 Apps hits some of the globe’s top publishers, too, including Yahoo, MSN, Weather.com, YouTube and Yelp.
via Big Ad ‘Injection’ Scheme Hits Target, YouTube, Walmart.com | Digital – Advertising Age.
This new “context aware” mobile space is interesting if it gains steam. It could potentially sow the seeds for an adware renaissance:
For those unfamiliar, Aviate is something of an Android launcher, but one where the smartphone apps presented to you change as you go about your day.
via Yahoo’s Contextual Homescreen App Aviate Adds A Smart “Listening Space” For Music Lovers | TechCrunch.
“Over the past year we’ve been approached by malware companies that have tried to buy the extension, data collection companies that have tried to buy user data, and adware companies that have tried to partner with us. We turned them all down.”
via Google Removes Two Chrome Extensions Amid Ad Uproar – Digits – WSJ.
Background article:Adware vendors buy Chrome Extensions to send ad- and malware-filled updates
Hacker News discussion: Adware vendors buy Chrome Extensions to send ad- and malware-filled updates
This device manufacturer has decided to call the small tracking devices cookies:
Mother’s potential use is intriguing: Each Mother unit talks wirelessly to a set of smaller tracking devices, dubbed cookies, that can sense motion and temperature. You can put cookies on things and people – on your body to gather data about how much you walk, on your coffee machine to track many espressos you drink, on your front door to track whenever it is opened, on your toothbrush to see how often and how long you brush … and so forth.
via A New ‘Mother’ to Digitally Nag You – Digits – WSJ.
Tracking via Bluetooth LE / iBeacons:
Once users download a brand’s app and give permission to receive alerts, they can get messages whenever their phone drifts within range of one of these beacons. Typically, users can stop the tracking and the alerts by changing the app’s settings.
via Another Super Bowl Ad Fest, This Time on the Cellphone – NYTimes.com.
This space is going to be the next wild west, if it isn’t already:
The NEC Corporation, for instance, is working on “V.I.P. identification” software, based on face recognition, for hotels and other businesses “where there is a need to identify the presence of important visitors.”
via When No One Is Just a Face in the Crowd – NYTimes.com.
We’ve got real privacy concerns on the part of the public,” Senator Hoeven said in a telephone interview. “People are very concerned about their personal privacy, especially as technology continues to advance,” he said, referring to revelations of spying by the National Security Agency. Fourteen states have already passed similar laws.
via The Next Data Privacy Battle May Be Waged Inside Your Car – NYTimes.com.
It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission.
Smart TV manufacturer LG, which is embroiled in a controversy after reports that their devices were spying on what channels viewers were watching, has issued a statement.
via LG says it will push out firmware update for spy TVs, but no apologies.
For some reason, I don’t think the solution for the real world will be as elegant as for web crawlers.
So might we all, in some not-so-distant future, have our own “robots.txt” – a signal that we can instrument at will, one which is constantly on, a beacon which others can pick up and understand? Such an idea seem to me not at all far fetched. We already all carry the computing power and bandwidth on our person to effect such a signal. All we need is a reason for it to come online. Glass, or something like it, may well become that reason.
via Ubiquitous Video: Why We Need a Robots.txt For the Real World | John Battelle’s Search Blog.
My take on how things are trending is that ad sellers such as Pandora will pretty soon be providing user registration data and possibly analytics data to advertisers in all its glory:
When a user registers for a Pandora account, the provides his or her age, gender, and zip code. The Internet radio company plans to go through its data and develop demographics it believes advertisers will find more attractive than the imperfect browsing habits collected by cookies.
via Pandora Is Utilizing Its Cookie Replacement – Business Insider.