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goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big

1 recommendation

Consumer Reports Says Do Not Track, But Tracks Anyway

AdAge

quote:
Earlier this week, Consumer Reports sent its members an email warning them that they might be "unwittingly" being tracked by advertising companies online, and that they should notify their lawmakers if they don't like it.

"It's time to stop the unwanted tracking once and for all!" proclaimed the email, signed by Consumer Reports President Jim Guest. The missive mirrors a holiday-shopping-related message on the website of Consumers Union, the nonprofit organization that publishes Consumer Reports.

...
What Consumer Reports failed to disclose is that its own website, ConsumerReports.org, is laden with the full array of advertising-tracking technologies -- the very ones they're telling consumers to take action against.

The site is home to reviews of cars, electronics, home appliances and even cardiologists -- and, it turns out, it hosts a slew of third-party ad and analytics tags.
Oops ...


jaykaykay
4 Ever Young
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-13
USA
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Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·Speakeasy

1 recommendation

That's totally s**tty, sending a warning message about something that they are the only ones that can do something about on their site. Trying to get their subscribers to help them with lawmakers is one thing, but doing it in a way that tries to make them guilt-free is really sleazy.


Cudni
La Merma - Vigilado
Premium,MVM
join:2003-12-20
Someshire
kudos:13
reply to goalieskates
We of course do not just rely on, if at all, DNT

Cudni


siljaline
I'm lovin' that double wide
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·Bell Sympatico

1 recommendation

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CovMac
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Covington, LA
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

1 recommendation

reply to goalieskates
Ad-Muncher:

Default filter match - Don't match against keyword: .brightcove.com/services/ [»c.brightcove.com/services/messag···D_JWKrA]
Default filter match - Block retrieval of URL: /1pix.gif? [»goku.brightcove.com/1pix.gif?dcs···8167001]
Default filter match - Block retrieval of URL: /1pix.gif? [»goku.brightcove.com/1pix.gif?dcs···8702682]
Default filter match - Block retrieval of URL: /1pix.gif? [»goku.brightcove.com/1pix.gif?dcs···8702682]
Default filter match - Don't match against keyword: .brightcove.com/viewer/ [»admin.brightcove.com/viewer/us20···enu.swf]
Default filter match - Don't match against keyword: .brightcove.com/viewer/ [»admin.brightcove.com/viewer/us20···uxe.swf]
Default filter match - Minimal filtering on URL: /flash/*.xml [»www.consumerreports.org/cro/reso···fig.xml]
Default filter match - Don't match against keyword: .brightcove.com/viewer/ [»admin.brightcove.com/viewer/us20···0500997]
Default filter match - Don't match against keyword: .brightcove.com/viewer/ [»admin.brightcove.com/viewer/us20···sparent]
Default filter match - Don't match against keyword: .brightcove.com/services/ [»c.brightcove.com/services/viewer···0492861]
Default filter match - Block retrieval of URL: /1pix.gif? [»goku.brightcove.com/1pix.gif?dcs···teReady]
Default filter match - Block retrieval of URL: .optimizely.com/event?a= [»log3.optimizely.com/event?a=6907···0488977]
Removed suspected web bug [»www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm]
Default filter match - Remove images/etc with URL: .googleadservices.*.js [»www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm]
Default filter match - Block retrieval of URL: /js/mbox.js [»www.consumerreports.org/etc/desi···mbox.js]
Default filter match - Block retrieval of URL: /oelauncher.js [»www.consumerreports.org/etc/desi···cher.js]
Default filter match - Block retrieval of URL: /scripts/oas_*.js [»www.consumerreports.org/etc/desi···tics.js]
Default filter match - Remove scripts with text: ,renderads); [»www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm]
Default filter match - No filtering on URL: /papi/_challenge.js?k= [»api.solvemedia.com/papi/_challen···8763199]
Removed suspected web bug [»adage.com/article/digital/consum···238355/]
Default filter match - Replace text: |function OAS_AM|function OAS_AM [»adage.com/article/digital/consum···238355/]
Plus 6 tracking sites reported by DNT+.

Really looks like CR is practicing what they preach?
--
Mac


antdude
A Ninja Ant
Premium,VIP
join:2001-03-25
United State
kudos:4
reply to goalieskates
I will stick with the hardcopy versions. :P


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
I will stick to using google for my research...

dave
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reply to goalieskates
Gee, I wonder if it's just remotely possible that the editorial side of Consumer Reports is separate from web operations?

Sure, it's bad form if one side is writing articles about evil ad company practice, and the other side is engaged in evil ad company practice, but it's not entirely surprising.

I'm sure Advertising Age is without bias, though. They're just doing this as a public service announcement.


AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1
what's the problem, as long as they are transparent?


Snowy
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·Time Warner Cable
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reply to dave
said by dave:

I'm sure Advertising Age is without bias, though. They're just doing this as a public service announcement.

hehe, you must be referring to this

The following transcript was discovered during a dumpster dive performed by Consumer Reports Security Dept. in preparation for an article concerning physical security of sensitive documents at the workplace.

Having received credible intelligence that the document was in the possession of CR Security,
CR Marketing quickly pulled rank threatening to have CR Security’s budget for fiscal years 2013-2020 slashed & burned.

The document having been hastily returned to CR Marketing was now the water cooler’s topic of the day
with numerous copies making the rounds with an assist from CR Circulation Dept.

CR Marketing Meeting Week of NOV 12 2012”

"What is the holiday season & why we should be grateful for what we have?"

Moderator: The topic was presented in the form of a question to see who is game vs who is lame.
Responder 1: The Holiday Season is about taking the time to reflect on the small things in life that we often overlook.
(laughter, snickering)
Moderator: Good one, we only have a limited amount of time today so let’s cut the humor & get to it!
Responder 2: The holiday season is about selling.
Moderator: Yes, well of course it’s about selling, but take that to next level!
Responder 3: It’s about selling new subscriptions as well as renewing existing subscriptions to Consumer Reports.
Moderator: Ho Ho Ho, happy holidays oh yes, we have a winner, Ho Ho Ho!
Now let’s get down to brass knuckles.
How should we accomplish this?

Responder 2: By keeping our name in the face of consumers.
Responder 1: Let’s put together a media blitz that encourages consumers to look for the latest
product reviews for the big ticket items they plan on buying during the holiday season.

Responder 3: Does our budget have the room for that?
Responder 4: We could tap Security’s budget again if we need to.
Responder 3: We’d have to label it “Urgent” to access Security’s budget again.
Responder 6: Haven’t we already overextended their budget?
Responder 4: You say that as if anyone actually cares. (laughter, snickering)
Moderator: That’s the spirit! Ho Ho Ho!
How else can we profit from our good fortune of the holiday season?

Responder 2: We can have an email blitz.
Responder 5: Were already under investigation for the last spam campaign.
Responder 3: That would have never happened if we sent it only once.
Moderator: That campaign had a large role in meeting our sales volume for the quarter,
the accidental (wink) retransmissions were genius.

Responder 3: Accidents do happen!
Responder 2: We could send the spam under the guise of some important,
urgent message that’s important to those on our spam lists.


Moderator: How so? Give me a specific example of that creativity.
Responder 3: We could frame the email around a public service message such as “Wear Your Seatbelt”
Moderator: No, let’s not appear as if we endorse a law that some find objectionable.
We need an issue that will not alienate any group be as small as it may be.

Responder 4: Online malware is always a good cover.
Moderator: Hmm, Legal would insist that we have some degree of technical assistance with that.
You know once you get Tech involved fact becomes an issue.
Tech, Security, Legal, facts Bah Humbug!
Responder 6: Privacy is trending. We could mask the spam with a privacy issue.
Moderator:Hmm, go on
Responder 4: uhm, online privacy, tracking, uhm, online tracking cookies!
We can strategically place ourselves in the consumers face under the guise of evil companies that use online tracking cookies!

Moderator: Hmm, yes, we wouldn’t need any technical oversight on something as simple as a cookie…


goalieskates
Premium
join:2004-09-12
land of big
reply to dave
said by dave:

Gee, I wonder if it's just remotely possible that the editorial side of Consumer Reports is separate from web operations?

Sure, it's bad form if one side is writing articles about evil ad company practice, and the other side is engaged in evil ad company practice, but it's not entirely surprising.

I'm sure Advertising Age is without bias, though. They're just doing this as a public service announcement.

Rethink that. Every company has management that sets company policy and that the various divisions report to. It's not every man for himself, unless it's a really poorly run company not long for this world. Most consumers have little patience with hypocrites who say one thing and do another.

Whether AdAge itself has bias is beside the point, since both sides are on record and verifiable. The real question is whether Consumer Reports is being deliberately misleading with their statements, or whether a management problem just got exposed for all to see.

dave
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join:2000-05-04
not in ohio
kudos:8
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
Which part is 'misleading'?

I agree with the Consumer Report letter as worded. I don't find it to be misleading at all. Clear as a bell.

Now, as to whether the CR web site uses the very techniques that the CR letter complains about - that is either (a) a cockup, aka 'management problem', or (b) hypocrisy - though not particularly serious, since it seems to me that if we do what the CR letter exhorts us to do, it will force the CR web site to clean up its act.

I think the 'misleading' thing is AdAge's attempt to make it look as though you can't 'back off' from an agreement until the agreement has actually been finalized. This is nonsense: even if you never finally agreed, you can be further away from an agreement today than you were yesterday, and any reasonable person would call that backing off.


siljaline
I'm lovin' that double wide
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2 recommendations

reply to goalieskates