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Smart TVs are data-collecting machines, new study shows

new study from Princeton University shows internet-connected TVs, which allow people to stream Netflix and Hulu, are loaded with data-hungry trackers.

In total, the study found trackers on 69 percent of Roku channels and 89 percent of Amazon Fire channels. Both Roku and Amazon Fire allow users to turn off targeted advertising. But doing so only stops a user’s advertising ID from being tracked — not the other uniquely identifiable information.

Source: Smart TVs are data-collecting machines, new study shows – The Verge

Google to address ad frequency with machine learning when cookies aren’t available

Google will be rolling out an approach to ad frequency control that doesn’t rely on cookies in Display & Video 360 over the coming weeks.

The feature uses machine learning to analyze traffic patterns when third-party cookies are available and builds models to predict patterns when a cookie isn’t present. This allows Google to estimate how likely it is for users to visit different publishers who are serving the same ads through Google Ad Manager. Then, when there is no third-party cookie present, Google is able to optimize how often those ads should be shown to users.

Source: Google to address ad frequency with machine learning when cookies aren’t available – Marketing Land

This Guy Made an Ad Blocker That Works on Podcasts and Radio

AdBlock Radio is an adblocker for live radio streams and podcasts. It detects audio ads with machine-learning and Shazam-like techniques

Alexandre Storelli, creator of AdBlock Radio, has been working on it for more than three years and that it uses techniques such as speech recognition, acoustic fingerprinting, and machine learning to detect known ad formats. It uses a crowdsourced database of ads and “acoustic fingerprinting,” which converts audio features into a series of numbers that can be combed by an algorithm.

Source: This Guy Made an Ad Blocker That Works on Podcasts and Radio – VICE

German publishers wrestle with Firefox’s latest anti-tracking changes

German publishers have been hit hard by Mozilla Firefox’s latest anti-tracking update, which blocks third-party cookies by default.

Publishers have experienced a detrimental drop in programmatic ad revenues since the changes three weeks ago.

In a way, the fact Germany has been hit harder by the Firefox changes is unsurprising. That’s because, in Germany, where privacy is far more deep-rooted culturally than it is in the U.S. and U.K., the non-profit Firefox browser has always been especially popular.

Source: German publishers wrestle with Firefox’s latest anti-tracking changes – Digiday

Facebook and Google have ad trackers on your streaming TV

Modern TV, coming to you over the Internet instead of through cable or over the air, has a modern problem: all of your Internet-connected streaming devices are watching you back and feeding your data to advertisers. Two independent sets of researchers this week released papers that measure the extent of the surveillance your TV is conducting on you.

The first study, conducted by researchers at Princeton and the University of Chicago, looked specifically at Roku and Amazon set-top devices. A review of more than 2,000 channels across the two platforms found trackers on 69% of Roku channels and 89% of Amazon Fire TV channels.

Source: Facebook and Google have ad trackers on your streaming TV, studies find | Ars Technica

What the focus on the AdTech industry and cookies means for your organisation

Any organisation involved in digital advertising is accountable for the online targeting solution they use.

As a website publisher, you have to determine how your cookie banner will collect consent from your visitors, meaning that you are responsible for this technical solution.

Full article: Gemserv: What the focus on the AdTech industry and cookies means for your organisation

Data privacy-first advertising is here: Here are the winners and losers

The drive for data privacy-first strategies has become more apparent, spurred by anti-tracking moves made by browsers as well as tighter data protection laws.

Here are winning and losing technologies for advertising in privavcy age.

Winners:

  • Contextual targeting
  • Authenticated-consent ad buys
  • Scaled log-in strategies

Losers:

  • Real-time bidding
  • Third-party cookie addicts

Full article: Data privacy-first advertising is here: Here are the winners and losers – Digiday

Company Will Pay $30 Million to Settle FTC Charges it Used Deceptive Lead Generators

An Illinois-based operator of several post-secondary schools will pay $30 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the operator used sales leads from lead generators that falsely told consumers they were affiliated with the U.S. military, and that used other unlawful tactics to generate leads.

In addition to falsely representing that its schools were affiliated with or recommended by the military, CEC’s lead generators also induced consumers to submit their information under the guise of providing job or benefits assistance.

“You can’t skirt the law by outsourcing illegal conduct to your service providers,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “This case demonstrates that the FTC will seek to hold advertisers liable for the deceptive or illegal practices of their affiliates, publishers, or other lead generators. We expect companies purchasing leads to implement strong vendor management programs and stay on the right side of the law.”

Source: Operator of Colorado Technical University and American InterContinental University Will Pay $30 Million to Settle FTC Charges it Used Deceptive Lead Generators to Market its Schools | Federal Trade Commission

IAB Europe issues updated GDPR-compliancy protocol

IAB Europe and the IAB Tech Lab have released the second iteration of the Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), a guide to help digital advertisers comply with the market’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The policy updates come after the groups put version 2.0 of the standard up for public comment in April, accepting submissions for 30 days. A steering group of 10 national IAB chapters and 55 companies drafted the current version of the policy.

Source: IAB Europe issues updated GDPR-compliancy protocol | The Drum

The Washington Post is preparing for post-cookie ad targeting

The Washington Post has internally developed a first-party data ad targeting tool called Zeus Insights, which offers contextual targeting capabilities.

The Zeus platform monitors contextual data such as what article a person is reading or watching, what position they have scrolled to on a page, what URL they have used to arrive there and what they’re clicking on. The publisher will then match that data to its existing audience data pools, which it has accumulated over the last four years, to create assumptions on what that news user’s consumption intent will be. The technology uses machine learning to decipher the patterns.

Full article: The Washington Post is preparing for post-cookie ad targeting – Digiday

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