The More You Know

A 20-post collection

The Year 2017 in Ad Blocking

The year 2017 was a tough one for privacy protection and ad blocking apps, but a good one for their users. But any paradox seen here is illusory.

It was back in 2016 that the ad and marketing industries acknowledged the impending crisis. Ad-blocking growth statistics created great concern for many advertisers and publishers. Extrapolations showed that in a year or two almost nobody would see ads. Advertisers got ready to sell their lives at a high price. That was the year that ad reinsertion startup companies like PageFair, Admiral, Sourcepoint, Secret Media propagated, offering technologies to push ads through ad blockers.

It also was the year when the Coalition for Better Ads emerged.

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Ad Blocker 2020: An invisibility cloak for the wild wild web?

An ad blocker of the nearest future is yet another personal assistant, that guides you to your profit and safety through the labyrinth of marketing technologies. Today ad blockers hide ads from you — tomorrow they will have to hide you from ads.

Personal assistants have recently become a very trendy type of apps. Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant are being used globally; local markets have their own products, like Alisa by Yandex in Russia or Duer by Baidu in China. But what do ad blockers have in common with these apps that tell you the weather, build routes, search the web and manage events in your calendar? »

Instagram overhears my offline chats! Is it possible?

"Instagram is listening to you and uses the contents of your offline discussions for targeting ads", thinks entrepreneur and developer Damián Le Nouaille. One day he saw an ad in his Instagram news feed featuring a product that he had never googled, liked or discussed on social networks. He talked about it with his friends in a cafe, though.

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Companies make money on personal data: where is my share?

Facebook should pay us a basic income, states John Thornhill from Financial Times. Look at Alaska: for more than 30 years an investment fund financed by oil companies pays all the state’s residents from $878 to $2,072 annually (the sum depends on the success of fund’s investment efforts, not on anything a resident does or achieves).

Data is the new oil. So shouldn’t we get something in return for fuelling ad campaigns, marketing research, political technologies with our digitalized lives? »

The inscrutable ways of user data: Adguard research announcement

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. »