My, my Myspace? · 2015-01-16 17:50 by Ben Williams
On Wednesday, Venturebeat and others reported that Myspace’s owners, an ad company called Viant, will be using the personal information it has from its over 50 million users to track its users between their online activities and their purchases in the real world. The CEO of the company calls this a “full closed loop,” according to VentureBeat, in which they can match the ads you see online to the things you buy inside an actual store.
First off, Myspace still exists? Yes, apparently through features like “Throwback Thursday” your big brother’s social network is growing.
Second, this is creepy – and very similar to what Facebook and Atlas announced a few months ago. “We are going to dominate the ad industry by being the first to market with the Advertising Cloud,” says Viant’s aforementioned CEO, Tim Vanderhook.
See our post back in October about Facebook’s announcement that they would be tracking users via ad effectiveness using their own ad platform, Atlas. The goal was to link users’ Facebook accounts to their ad interactions. Using “people-based marketing,” Facebook can track activity among a user’s devices and connect online campaigns to offline purchases.
So Big Brother apparently never left Myspace …
Calling this an advertising cloud attempts to obfuscate the fact that this is another way to track people’s movements, this time both on- and offline.
As we said back in October of last year, Adblock Plus is here to make sure users still make the call on tracking and advertising. As expected, Adblock Plus has a workaround to Myspace’s advertising cloud tracking attempts. Our approach is as simple as it was with Facebook/Atlas: Blocking the ads that would be served on your device throws a monkeywrench in that “full closed loop.”
If you don’t want Myspace/Aviant to accompany you from your computer to the places you buy things, try Adblock Plus on every browser and every device you own.
Peace in the new year!
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