Saturday, March 19, 2005


Spyware: Follow The Money

Extracted from my post up on Blogcritics -

What circumstances could bring pornography, Air France, Apple Computers, Vonage, Netflix, and J.P. Morgan Chase together? The installation of adware on your computer....Ben Edelman documents this behavior in articles entitled Advertisers Supporting eXact Advertising and Documentation of Gator Advertisements and Targeting. Mr. Edelman specifically notes that in the case of eXact, a file is downloaded to your computer which has detection rules for URLs, and matches them with the "appropriate advertiser". If you read The Motley Fool, that URL is paired with an ad served up from a URL that starts at Real Media entitled "BullsEye Network Offer"....

Out of 818 ads, approximately 281 ads (just over 34%) served up were for adult-oriented (pornographic, gambling and sexual health) advertisers. The consequences of ads of this sort showing up on a PC used by the entire family are not difficult to imagine....

Mr. Edelman's pages provide a valuable service, in telling us which advertisers think so little of us, their ultimate customers, that they would support adware to get their message across. Conversely, some of the good guys, such as Verizon and Wells Fargo, who eschew adware are identified.......


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