NebuAd is Dead

by on May 19, 2009 · 14 comments

NebuAd is dead. The company‘s plan to track users through their ISPs for the purpose of targeting advertising met with public and congressional concern that ultimately led to its demise.

I believe that ISPs should stick to serving bits and not get into the business of serving or helping to serve ads, so I’m glad to see NebuAd’s model fail. I’ve been made aware by a similar company – Phorm – of the privacy sensitivity they design into their system, but the answer for me is still “No, thanks.”

In terms of policy, this story is mixed. Fans of government involvement probably believe that concerns expressed by public authorities caused NebuAd’s partners to pull out. ISPs also responded to public concerns expressed directly and in the media, of course, and I believe that consumers’ passive reliance on government authorities for protection is in error.

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