Product Management :: Product Marketing

02 November, 2011

User Profiling in Internet Advertising

There's fascinating article on The Register, How websites use your browser to sell you for cash. It explains some of the many techniques that internet advertising uses to profile users as they surf across multiple sites.

.... [we] came to the conclusion that with some minor tweaking, that firm is sitting on software nearly capable of delivering a Minority Report level of personalised advertising.
Below is the well-known clip from the Minority Report which demonstrates the future of Personalised Advertising - it's here already.

Do read the article, there are numerous links to other fascinating articles, such an explanation of a evercookie.

This article is fine for sophisticated web users, but what about Joe Public?
Legalisation (and enforcement) in this area is miles behind. The BBC reports on New net rules set to make cookies crumble:
European e-Privacy directive came into force in the UK in May this year. It mandates that users should be fully informed about the information being stored in cookies and told why they see particular adverts. This provides to gives some initial policy and some user protection from the use of behavioural advertising.
As part of its work to comply with the directive, the IAB - an industry body that represents web ad firms - created a site that explains how behavioural advertising works and lets people opt out of it. 

It should be no surprise that regulators are struggle to keep up, but a BBC article (admittedly from March this year), Governments 'not ready' for new European privacy law, indicates that they aren't even trying.

European rules aimed at giving consumers more control over how their web browsing is tracked will not be enforced come May, experts have said.
No European government has yet drawn up the guidelines for how the ePrivacy directive will be enforced.
The UK's Information Commissioner has indicated that it wants the industry to work out best practice before it starts wading in. From the same BBC article, Ed Vaizey, minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries, said:
"Therefore we do not expect the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to take enforcement action in the short term against businesses and organisations as they work out how to address their use of cookies," he added.
OK, but when?

01 November, 2011

Ofcom Report provides pretty maps of Digital Britain

The UK telcoms regulator Ofcom provides its 3 year report on the state of consumer telecoms. It reports on fixed broadband, local TV, mobile base stations, digital TV, mobile coverage and digital radio, all displayed on maps. The level of granularity only goes down to the County level - a more local would have been more interesting.

To see the maps

Some nuggets of interest
  • British households download about 17 gigabytes of data on average every month over their home broadband connections, suggests a report.
  • About 900,000 premises cannot get 2G signals from all the UK's operators and 7.7 million UK places do not have 3G signals from the five operators that offer it.
  • 72 per cent of mobile calls are still made on 2G networks (except on Three, which doesn't have a 2G network);
Thanks to a summary from The Register, here's a diagram which shows who is providing broadband services: look at the market strength of BT: to be anticipated, I suppose, given that it was formerly a monopoly.