#NoStalking: Balancing User Privacy with Online Advertising

#NoStalking: Balancing User Privacy with Online Advertising

As publishers, have we made a Faustian bargain, exchanging revenue for our readers' security & privacy?

How can we shift online advertising (in particular programmatic) to be more compatible with user privacy in the era of the GDPR and the additional privacy laws undoubtedly coming?


John Eckman

August 08, 2019


  1. #NoStalking: Just Show Me Ads John Eckman @jeckman WordCamp for

    Publishers 2019 Columbus, OH
  2. What dystopian world do we live in where multiple times

    per day we have to validate we are not robots while all our online activities are tracked by automated processes, i.e., robots in the cloud? https://twitter.com/MarciRobin/status/998030243981033472 John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub
  3. John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub Privacy, security, and transparency

    Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash https://unsplash.com/photos/fPxOowbR6ls John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub
  4. “Journalists are people who scribble stories on the backs of

    advertisements.”* https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Wanamaker,_Citizen,_by_John_Massey_Rhind_-_IMG_6686.JPG *Source needed - can’t verify he said this John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub
  5. John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub

  6. “I know half the money I spend on advertising is

    wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” https://explorepahistory.com/displayimage.php?imgId=1-2-122C Though he may not have actually been the first to say this either. See: https://medium.com/@dsearls/rethinking-john- wanamaker-3f9cfac3ea03 John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub
  7. https://io9.gizmodo.com/how-the-nielsen-tv-ratings-work-and-what-could-replac-5636210 John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub

  8. Advent of the Web https://home.cern/science/computing/birth-web/short-history-web John Eckman • @jeckman •

  9. “One day in June 1994, Lou Montulli sat down at

    his keyboard to fix one of the biggest problems facing the fledgling World Wide Web -- and, as so often happens in the world of technology, he created another one. . . . The solution called for each Web site's computer to place a small file on each visitor's machine that would track what the visitor's computer did at that site. . . . It was a turning point in the history of computing: at a stroke, cookies changed the Web from a place of discontinuous visits into a rich environment in which to shop, to play . . . Cookies fundamentally altered the nature of surfing the Web from being a relatively anonymous activity, like wandering the streets of a large city, to the kind of environment where records of one's transactions, movements and even desires could be stored, sorted, mined and sold.” - John Schwartz http://www.facesofopensource.com/lou-montulli/ John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub https://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/04/business/giving-web-a-memory-cost-its-users-privacy.htm
  10. https://go.feroot.com/user-security-and-privacy-report John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub

  11. D O N OT T R AC K ( D

    N T ) https://www.eff.org/issues/do-not-track John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub
  12. D O N OT T R AC K ( D

    N T ) https://allaboutdnt.com/ John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub
  13. John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub

  14. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/j5zk8y/why-your-ad-blocker-doesnt-block-those-please-turn-off-your-ad-blocker-popups John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub

  15. We’ve Traded our Readers’ Privacy & Security for Ad Tech

    https://www.faust.com/legend/pact-with-the-devil/ John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub
  16. Advertising != AdTech https://www.froelichundkaufmann.de/kulturgeschichte/lexikon-der-sprichwoertlichen-redensarten.html John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub

  17. “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything

    that counts can be counted” - William Bruce Cameron https://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/05/26/everything-counts-einstein/ John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub
  18. https://blogs.harvard.edu/vrm/2016/05/11/why-a-nostalking-deal-is-good-for-publishers/ https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Docsearls.jpg John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub

  19. “First, we're wiping all advertising off the Linux Journal site

    and starting with a clean slate. . . . Second, if we ever go back to running ads, they won't be of the spying kind generally called ‘adtech.' I have been an enemy of adtech from its start, and for years have led in the movement to kill it.” https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3b/Docsearls.jpg https://www.linuxjournal.com/content/lets-talk-advertising John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub
  20. None
  21. So, What Can a Publisher Do? • Diversify revenue &

    build direct relationships: Donations, Membership, Subscription, Paywalls, Events, Ecommerce • Higher value relationships w/ fewer advertisers. More direct, less programmatic • Target ads based on context & “zero party” data • Engage with organizations like The Media Trust or Feroot to monitor for malware and ads that violate policies for data gathering • Support industry-wide efforts to reform John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub
  22. Further Reading

  23. Further reading • https://make.wordpress.org/core/2019/08/07/feature-plugin-discussion-a-consent- and-logging-mechanism-for-user-privacy/ • http://blogs.harvard.edu/doc/2015/09/24/the-adblock-war-series/ • https://medium.com/@dsearls/separating-advertisings-wheat-and-chaff-47858adfcb20 •

    https://www.cio.com/article/3336063/the-importance-of-preserving-user-privacy-with- a-prudent-approach-to-targeted-advertising.html • https://crcs.seas.harvard.edu/privacy-security-targeted-advertising • https://medium.com/s/out-of-ink/the-shameful-state-of-online- advertising-4b0e6021570e John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub
  24. https://10up.com/about/ https://10up.com/careers/ John Eckman • @jeckman • #wcpub Q&A