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The Browser Act

Has Anyone Heard of This Thing?

     
11:41 pm on Jun 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Bill introduced in Congress last month that "requires online websites and services to get affirmative consent from users before serving any ads based on their interests."

[thehill.com ]

Sounds like the EU law?
12:10 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Pretty much. :)
12:41 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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But the BROWSER Act would disallow interest-based ads by default. In doing so, the act would erase $340 billion in advertising revenue from American websites over the next five years. Thatís because the Act requires users to opt-in to interest-based advertising and studies have shown that such an opt-in regime reduces online adsí effectiveness by 65 percent.
Hope it doesn't pass. It would be disastrous for many webmasters, especially those of us who rely on advertising.
1:14 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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There's ads, and then there are INTEREST BASED ADS ... ie, tracking and personalization. This won't kill advertising in the web, but will change the way the business now works.
1:18 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I doubt it will pass if consumers realize that it's going to mean higher costs for them since they'll have to start paying to visit many of their favorite websites.
1:21 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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customers are already paying for the ads ... bandwidth ain't free and ads sure do burn up a lot of bandwidth. :(

Oddly enough, what's a favorite on Tuesday is nobody by Thursday, so that's also nothing new.

It is the TRACKING ADS (personalized) that underfire, not advertising itself. There is a difference.
1:33 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So it means that we go back to the days of contextual ads. And yes, consumers are paying for ads through higher cost data plans, but that is different from having to pay for a subscription to each of their favorite websites. And I'm not sure how many consumers know the connection between ads and data costs.
7:45 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I don't think the paying-for-ad-bandwidth is much of an argument anymore. Bandwidth and data allowances have become larger and cheaper in most countries, plus there's been a proliferation of free wifi. People will happily blow 250mb watching a 4K Youtube of a rollerskating fish.

Interest-based ads I support. But I agree that all tracking ads do is alert people to the fact they're being tracked. Seeing a week of ads for a product you've already bought or looked at seems to me just a waste of the ad slot.
8:12 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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People will happily blow 250mb watching a 4K Youtube of a rollerskating fish
I certainly would.
8:40 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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About the EU cookie law. We (Europeans) are supposed to receive the consent of European visitors BEFORE a tracking cookie is set. What it means is that, in theory, when someone reaches your site, you are supposed to "first" display a message box, to inform the visitor and ask him to accept or not and wait for the answer. And only "after", if he accepted, you load ads (or other things which are producing tracking cookies). Barely no one does this. Only "some" of very big sites do this as it should. 99% of other sites are just displaying a band giving the information, and saying that if you continue browsing, then it means your consent. But, ad cookie tracking are already set anyhow.

I understood that in the EU, it's in process of being refined, and that the consent is about to be done at the browser level, and no at site level.

I don't know how it's planning to be in the USA, if it will apply to all site based in the USA, or fro the moment you receive visitors form the USA. Also, they don't speak about cookie, but serving ads. So I guess that even if non-cookie tracking system is set up, this won't bypass the requirement.

As I mentioned at another topic, I disabled interest based ads at Adsense last month, beacusei it looked like to be broken, and since my earnings increased; so it wouldn't bother me to stay like that, however, even when you disable them, Adsense still serves "remarketing", which I believe is similar variant of interest based ads.
10:05 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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From my experience, Americans are not ready for opt-in consent notification requirements at websites they have freely accessed for years.

Because 30% of my visitors are from EU, I voluntarily displayed the cookie notification for several months. Traffic tanked, Adsense income decreased and product sales almost died completely.

I removed the notification and am gradually regaining former stats.
10:54 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I removed the notification

Be careful, "in theory", Adsense can close your account if you are not complying with the EU cookie law. We are supposed to display the banner to all EU visitors.

I think the easiest would be to force ad platforms to respect the "do not track" header. If the header is set ,simply display contextual ads, don't set tracking cookie or other tracking method. I think it would be good compromise.

Also, the Internet Giants will, one day, come with a work around, claiming they no longer track anything, and that instead it's their IA algorithms guessing magically what can interest who. :)
11:09 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Peter_S - Google has only been enforcing this for EU sites. I'm not in the EU.
11:11 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Google has only been enforcing this for EU sites. I'm not in the EU.

My bad, I didn't pay attention :">
11:20 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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No you're correct... "in theory" every site, no matter where the site is located, is supposed to be serving the cookie notice to EU visitors... but so far, Google has only been enforcing this at sites located within the EU & Great Britain.

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is." - Yogi Berra
11:31 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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sites located within the EU & Great Britain

Great Britain is in the EU :"> (at least for one or two more years) - joke
11:44 am on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My point :)
1:30 pm on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Because 30% of my visitors are from EU, I voluntarily displayed the cookie notification for several months. Traffic tanked, Adsense income decreased and product sales almost died completely.


I displayed a cookie notification, and sill do. It had absolutely zilch effect on page views or earnings on my sites.

UK informational sites.

I think people are now so used to seeing the notifications that they just close them if they appear without even reading them. A more useless piece of legislation is hard to imagine.

It was so predictable as well.The same situation as endless terms and conditions some sites ask you to read and you just know that first, you don't have the time and second they are all gobbledegook. The average user doesn't know what a Dart cookie is, never will and couldn't care less.
8:26 pm on June 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I displayed a cookie notification, and sill do. It had absolutely zilch effect on page views or earnings on my sites.

UK informational sites
But you're in the UK. That was my point where I said...
From my experience, Americans are not ready for opt-in consent notification requirements at websites they have freely accessed for years.
Many have a knee-jerk type reaction. They see a notice and instead of reading it, they hit the back button... or they see the word cookies and it scares them so they hit the back button.