How does an ad blocker work? What does the quality of blocking depend on? How do some ads get past it? What differentiates ad blockers from one another? Such questions are not just a matter of curiosity. Knowing the answers can help one select and use a blocker more efficiently. »
Understanding the importance of our personal data, we are forced to maintain a certain balance between security and openness. We have to share our data if we want to buy online, use apps and services. But, trusting our data to a certain business, we expect that it would use it within laws, ethics, and would take our interests into consideration.
We decided to investigate several popular mobile applications and see which third parties have access to the personal data of their users. »
If the news about advertising in keyboards earlier today made you decide to abandon Android devices and switch to iOS, think again.
Users of Android-powered HTC 10 and HTC U11 report ads appearing on the top of the stock keyboard. HTC representatives responded by an advice to remove the latest update of an app called TouchPal. It is an emoji keyboard preinstalled on HTC. There is supposed to be no ads in the preinstalled version, but ads show in the free (trial) app downloadable from Google Play Store. »
The final part of the History contains a brief overview of the regulation measures affecting blockers in different regions of the world. We will also see how companies dependent on advertising find other ways to earn money or track customers. If you’ve missed the previous parts or want to read them again, here there are, the first and the second.
The fourth installment of the series will be the most interesting, as we will speculate on the future of blockers. »
Avira, a popular European antivirus, has become a partner of Adguard and added the ad blocking feature based on our technology and filters to their browser extensions. The developers have made this decision after carrying out research that defined the percentage of malicious elements which get on websites via ad networks, thus showing that malvertising is a serious and growing threat. »
We continue to tell the story of ad blocking. The first part was about first apps, anti-trackers, and the technology behind ad blocking. Now you can read about the fight against ad blockers, the attempts of self-regulation by the advertising market, and the birth of an ad blocker that sells ads. »
At its annual conference for developers, Apple has revealed several ad-restriction related upcoming updates for Safari desktop browser.
The most interesting one is the Intelligent Tracking Prevention. The purpose of this technology is to protect users from "third party" data collection. There often are elements on websites, integrated from other websites (images, videos, scripts, analytic services). If site B has elements from site A, the owners of the latter receive information about visitors of site B, even if they never visit site A. This is called cross-site tracking. As a result, a user does not know who has their data and cannot control it. In addition, aggregating and analyzing information from different websites gives vast opportunities of behaviour prediction and control.
Apple's approach is based on giving information about users only to the sites they interact with and are interested in. So, if site A receives information about a user only as a "third party", through other sites, and the user hasn’t visited site A itself within 30 days, then the cookie files from site A get erased from user’s device and prevented from uploading again. »
A new tool has become available in Google Webmaster — Ad Experience Report. In it, the site owner is to find screenshots and videos of ads on the site, which Google finds unacceptable and annoying by the standards of Better Ads. And since 2018 no ads will be shown in Chrome browser on the sites that do not comply with the Better Ads Standards (even ads owned or served by Google).
Besides, Google launched a beta of the tool Funding Choices. It helps a webmaster to address users who block ads and ask them to either disable ad blocking or pay for ad-free access. Users can pay through Google Contributor, which acts here as a kind of adblocker, paid for users, voluntary for sites, compensating them profit losses from ad blocking and bringing profit to Google itself. It works like this: a user tops up his account, each time he visits a website that uses the Contributor, a per-page fee is deducted from his account to pay the creators of the website, a part of the money is kept by Google. The user sees no ads on the pages. »
June 1st is celebrated in many countries as the International Children's Day. On this day we decided to find out what psychologists think about the impact of advertisement on children and whether kids need to be protected from ads or not.
We looked through several research papers and reviews on this topic, and there are some of the key findings.
Up to a certain age, children do not distinguish advertising from other types of content. They start to see a difference between commercials and programs at the age of 4-5 years, but not on the basis of their content and expressed messages, but by external signs — the commercials are shorter or "more fun". »