Cory Doctorow on Ad Blocking

Over at The Guardian, Cory Doctorow has an excellent article on ad blocking and the future of Internet advertising. He makes a point that I haven't seen before: it's only a matter of time until one of the big data brokers suffers a breach and leaks compromising information on millions of people on a scale that will dwarf the Dolly Madison and even the OPM leaks. Most people aren't worried about that because they're not aware of the detailed dossiers about them that data brokers collect. They may not have your fingerprints the way the OPM does but they've got just about everything else.

Given that fact and the related performance and bandwidth problems that adtech is delivering to our machines everyday, it's no wonder that more and more people are taking actions to stop it. Some are so disgusted they just install an ad blocker and stop everything. Others, like me, try to be a bit more discriminating and just block the trackers. Either way, it's bad news for advertisers and publishers.

What to do? Doctorow says the answer is simple but hard. We have to find a way for advertisers and publishers to deal directly with each other without the intermediary ad brokers. For reasons that Doctorow explains in the piece, that's harder than it sounds.

It's a good article with lots of background on the problem and some suggestions for moving forward. It's well worth reading.

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