• How Your Ad Blocker Can Track You Across the Web

    Ah, ad blockers. Even if you aren’t among the growing number of people downloading one of these extensions, chances are you’ve heard people sing their praises for all sorts of reasons. They make the web a less cluttered, less laggy, less invasive place to be. So naturally, the money-hungry tech upstarts have found a way to ruin these tools for their own gain.

    Cybersecurity researcher Sergey Mostsevenko broke down exactly how this sort of scheme works in a blog post from last month. As he put it, the average ad blocker leaves tiny traces of data on the websites you visit. When those traces are collected en masse, a bad actor (or tech company) could use these signals to identify your specific browser—a process literally called “fingerprinting” in the ad-targeting industry. And like a fingerprint, these signals are basically impossible to burn off without taking some pretty drastic steps.

    “Fingerprinting” refers to a particularly scuzzy form of tracking that’s designed to be near-impossible for users to shake off. Cookies can be cleared, your cache can be flushed, and you can browse exclusively in incognito mode, but your browser’s “fingerprint” is cobbled together from a slew of different signals: your IP address, your window size, your language settings, and much, much more. When you visit a web page that has a hidden piece of fingerprinting code on it, these data points get sucked in and a hashed jumble of numbers and letters—your unique fingerprint—gets spit out. By tracking which fingerprints crop up on which sites, these companies can covertly track you no matter how much you beg them to stop.

    Naturally when you use an ad blocker, it’s going to give off some sort of signal to the site you’re visiting—but not enough to uniquely identify your browser. In order to do that, Mostsevenko explained, you need to get a bit creative.

    Capitalist hellscape aside, there’s still a few steps you can take to keep your browser—ad-blocked or not—from being fingerprinted. The Electronic Frontier Foundation suggests disabling Javascript from running whenever you can, and using a popular browser like Safari or Firefox which have each taken their own steps to quash fingerprinting attempts. Keep extensions to a minimum, invest in a good VPN, and no matter how hard a website begs, always always turn down their cookies.

    #Fingerprinting #Publicité #Ad_Blockers #Traces #surveillance

  • Google’s Chrome ad blocking arrives today and this is how it works - The Verge

    Google is revealing today exactly what ads will be blocked, and how the company notifies site owners before a block is put in place. On desktop, Google is planning to block pop-up ads, large sticky ads, auto-play video ads with sound, and ads that appear on a site with a countdown blocking you before the content loads. Google is being more aggressive about its mobile ad blocking, filtering out pop-up ads, ads that are displayed before content loads (with or without a countdown), auto-play video ads with sound, large sticky ads, flashing animated ads, fullscreen scroll over ads, and ads that are particularly dense.

    Voir également :
    Initial Better Ads Standards: Least preferred ad experiences for desktop web and mobile web

    #Publicité #Ad_blockers #Standard

  • Thousands of major sites are taking silent anti-ad-blocking measures | TechCrunch

    It’s no secret that ad blockers are putting a dent in advertising-based business models on the web. This has produced a range of reactions, from relatively polite whitelisting asks (TechCrunch does this) to dynamic redeployment of ads to avoid blocking. A new study finds that nearly a third of the top 10,000 sites on the web are taking ad blocking countermeasures, many silent and highly sophisticated.

    Seeing the uptick in anti-ad-blocking tech, University of Iowa and UC Riverside researchers decided to perform a closer scrutiny (PDF) of major sites than had previously been done. Earlier estimates, based largely on visible or obvious anti-ad-blocking means such as pop-ups or broken content, suggested that somewhere between 1 and 5 percent of popular sites were doing this — but the real number seems to be an order of magnitude higher.

    The researchers visited thousands of sites multiple times, with and without ad-blocking software added to the browser. By comparing the final rendered code of the page for blocking browsers versus non-blocking browsers, they could see when pages changed content or noted the presence of a blocker, even if they didn’t notify the user.

    #Publicité #Ad_blockers #Bloqueurs_de_pub

  • Google is bringing adblocking to Chrome, and will let publishers charge readers who use other adblockers » Nieman Journalism Lab

    Google is launching an adblocker for its Chrome browser next year, according to multiple reports (and confirming rumors from the spring). It will allow publishers to charge readers who have other adblockers installed a set amount per pageview, the Financial Times reported:

    [Google] is launching “funding choices” where publishers can set a price per page view for consumers using ad blockers to pay — or abandon their blockers and see the ads. Google will track how many pages people view and charge them through a new version of their Google Contributor service.

    Google hasn’t announced or confirmed its Chrome adblocker or micropayments-for-adblock-users plan — and considers it a “filter,” not a “blocker” — but it’s been briefing publishers and advertisers, according to the Journal, reportedly giving publishers a six-month heads up to prepare:

    To help publishers prepare, Google will provide a self-service tool called “Ad Experience Reports,” which will alert them to offending ads on their sites and explain how to fix the issues. The tool will be provided before the Chrome ad blocker goes live, the people familiar with the plans say.

    As described to publishers, Google’s feature will block all ads on sites that have a certain level of unacceptable ads. Publishers have been advised to ensure their sites are compliant if they want their ads to be displayed.

    #Google #publicité #ad_blockers #vectorialisme