ahem → <ahem>it’s an implications performance.</ahem>
tl;dr → Tadayoshi et al. are virtuosos at these performance art happenings. Catchy hook, cool marketing name (ADINT) and press outreach frontrunning the actual conference venue. For the wuffie and the lulz. Nice demo tho.
and → They bought geofence campaigns in a grid. They used close-the-loop analytics to identify the sojourn trail of the target.
and → Er… don’t use Grindr.
The online advertising ecosystem is built upon the ability of advertising networks to know properties about users (e.g., their interests or physical locations) and deliver targeted ads based on those properties. Much of the privacy debate around online advertising has focused on the harvesting of these properties by the advertising networks. In this work, we explore the following question: can third-parties use the purchasing of ads to extract private information about individuals? We find that the answer is yes. For example, in a case study with an archetypal advertising network, we find that — for $1000 USD — we can track the location of individuals who are using apps served by that advertising network, as well as infer whether they are using potentially sensitive applications (e.g., certain religious or sexuality-related apps). We also conduct a broad survey of other ad networks and assess their risks to similar attacks. We then step back and explore the implications of our findings.
ADINT (a title); Some ‘bot (That Certain Robot, TCR); In BoingBoing; 2017-10-18.
tl;dr → cut & paste, merely points to the Wired piece.
Retargeting ads are increasingly prevalent on the Internet as their effectiveness has been shown to outperform conventional targeted ads. Retargeting ads are not only based on users’ interests, but also on their intents, i.e. commercial products users have shown interest in. Existing retargeting systems heavily rely on tracking, as retargeting companies need to know not only the websites a user has visited but also the exact products on these sites. They are therefore very intrusive, and privacy threatening. Furthermore, these schemes are still sub-optimal since tracking is partial, and they often deliver ads that are obsolete (because, for example, the targeted user has already bought the advertised product).
This paper presents the first privacy-preserving retargeting ads system. In the proposed scheme, the retargeting algorithm is distributed between the user and the advertiser such that no systematic tracking is necessary, more control and transparency is provided to users, but still a lot of targeting flexibility is provided to advertisers. We show that our scheme, that relies on homomorphic encryption, can be efficiently implemented and trivially solves many problems of existing schemes, such as frequency capping and ads freshness.
<quote>Mobile ad tech companies like AdTruth, Drawbridge and Tapad try to solve publishing’s mobile retargeting problem by analyzing billions of ads served each month on mobile and desktop and trying to glean patterns. But despite all the number crunching, their solutions are only 60 – 80 percent accurate. Retargeting isn’t a crude science for Facebook, Google and Twitter, though. Because their users sign in with the same account at multiple points, they can do it own their own, and with unprecedented accuracy.</quote>