Exploring ADINT: Using Ad Targeting for Surveillance on a Budget — or — How Alice Can Buy Ads to Track Bob | Vines, Roesner, Kohno

Paul Vines, Franziska Roesner, Tadayoshi Kohno; Exploring ADINT: Using Ad Targeting for Surveillance on a Budget — or — How Alice Can Buy Ads to Track Bob; In Proceedings of the 16th ACM Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society (WPES 2017); 2017-10-30; 11 pages; outreach.

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.


Separately noted.

Curiosity gap about AdTech, you won’t believe what happens next!

; Things you should know about AdTech, today; In His Blog, centrally hosted on LinkedIn; 2017-08-30; regwalled.


Boosterism in front of the trade shows
  • Exchange Wire #ATSL17
  • Dmexco
  • Programmatic IO

Separately noted.

How M&A Impacts The Remaining DSPs | Ad Exchanger

How M&A Impacts The Remaining DSPs; ; In Ad Exchanger; 2017-08-21.

tl;dr → header bidding has killedwill kill the DSP, as a business proposition.


  • Demand-Side Platform (DSP)
    [pure-play] Demand-Side Platform (DSP)
  • No new DSPs are prognosticated
    • Too expensive to build new.
    • Insufficient return once built.
    • Costs are mounting
  • [DSP] business model is flawed
    • Derisk the agency
    • Own the media until delivered.
    • Financial arbitrage
  • Claim: [many] agencies have gone from working with four to six buying platforms to closer to three now, attributed to Martin Kihn, Gartner.
  • the walled garden platforms
    the pure-play platforms


  1. Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM)
  2. Amazon
  3. “seven or eight” closely packed DSPs
    1. The Trade Desk
    2. MediaMath
    3. the rest… being: “five or six”

Source: opinement, Ad Perceptions in AdExchanger


  • Michael Baker, CEO, DataXu
  • Julian Baring, general manager for North America, Adform.
  • Martin Kihn, research VP, Gartner
  • Kevin Mannion, CSO, Advertiser Perceptions
  • Rob Perdue, COO, The Trade Desk


Supply-Side Platforms (SSP)

  • Tremor Video
    sold: Taptica, the DSP operations
  • Rubicon Project
    abandoned DSP operations

Pure-Play DSPs

Sold to telecom
  • Turn,
    sold to SingTel
  • Oath (née AOL and Yahoo)
    sold to Verizon
Sold to Elsewhere
  • Rocket Fuel, sold to Sizmek owned by “private equity,”
  • TubeMogul, sold to Adobe


In Ad Exchanger

A Dream Deferred: Why the Digital Ad Industry Struggles to Create a Standard ID | Advertising Age

A Dream Deferred: Why the Digital Ad Industry Struggles to Create a Standard ID; . In Advertising Age; 2017-05-17.


  • Contra
    • Facebook
    • Google
  • Partners
  • Concept
    • <quote>the new consortium is far from determining the technical details of its approach, it seems to be following the Digitrust model of using a common decryption key.</quote>
  • DigiTrust (a predecessor, a competitor)
    • Separate, different
    • Since 2014
    • Jordan Mitchell, CEO
    • Participants
      • AppNexus (may not be participating any more, no comment now)
      • Open X
      • Media Math (not “heavily involved”)
      • Publishers
        • ESI Media
        • GroupM
    • Progress
      • <quote>since March 30, Digitrust has held five working group meetings with its 25 publisher and 25 platform participants to discuss deployment logistics and dates, said Mitchell. Publishers might begin to adopt the system in June, he said.</quote>
  • Quoted
    • Travis May, LiveRamp CEO.
    • Mike Lamb, president, Media Math,
    • Ari Paparo, CEO, Beeswax,
    • Jo Holdaway, chief data officer, ESI Media
      ESI Media is publisher of the London Evening Standard & The Independent,.


AppNexus, LiveRamp, and MediaMath Launch Technology Consortium to Enable People-Based Programmatic Advertising

AppNexus, LiveRamp, and MediaMath Launch Technology Consortium to Enable People-Based Programmatic Advertising; press release; 2017-05-04.


<quote>Consortium members will enjoy access to an identity framework built from pairing an encrypted version of an omnichannel, people-based identifier and a common, open cookie that resides on a shared, open domain. Each consortium member will adhere to a strict agreement requiring best practices with respect to privacy and security, including compliance with digital advertising industry self-regulatory code and applicable laws.</quote>


  • Acxiom
  • AppNexus
  • Index Exchange
  • LiveIntent
  • LiveRamp
  • OpenX
  • Rocket Fuel


  • Andrew Casale, president and chief executive of Index Exchange
  • David Gosen, general manager, platform solutions, SVP, international, Rocket Fuel.
  • Matt Keiser, Founder, CEO, LiveIntent.
  • Michael Lamb, President, MediaMath.
  • Brian O’Kelley, CEO, AppNexus.
  • Travis May, president and general manager, LiveRamp


  • IdentityLink, a service of LiveRamp.
  • Applicability
    • mobile
    • Addressable TV
    • Internet of Things (IoT)
    • Out of Home (OOH)
    • email
    • (Does one to fifty) and other channels yet to be defined. and emerging channels for targeted programmatic advertising.


Programmatic Everywhere? Data, Technology and the Future of Audience Engagement | Winterberry Group, IAB

Programmatic Everywhere? Data, Technology and the Future of Audience Engagement; Winterberry Group, IAB; a whitepaper; 2013-11; 36 pages; landing.


You Are What You Click: On Microtargeting | The Nation

David Auerbach; You Are What You Click: On Microtargeting; In The Nation; 2013-03-04.
Teaser: Why privacy and anonymity are being violated online by an unstoppable process of data profiling.