Wednesday, July 3, 2013

In Support of IAB

While we don't always agree with IAB when it comes to viewthrough, a recent post on AdExchanger deserved support: IAB Vs Mozilla: Randall Rothenberg Takes The Gloves Off

The Viewthrough Measurement Consortium supports the IAB's position. The idea of a centralized cookie clearinghouse run by people with anti-business agenda is suspect. When Mozilla forces users out by default, that smacks of paternalism if not Bolshevism. The natural quid pro quo between a publisher and their online audience is being hi-jacked as a result of these maneuvers. Meanwhile, the biggest threat to privacy is likely the Feds who have effectively unlimited resources and can use force to compel behavior. Free people have a choice.
The question for the consumer (as always) is what's in it for me? Today the choice is free content or free content (no ads/tracking). Some will choose the latter. Right now, consumers of ad-supported content really don't know what it costs to provide it and there is no penalty for blocking ads or cookies. VMC's position is to let the consumer decide: their choice should be to either pay for the content or accept ads/tracking...everybody else should get blocked by the publishers - meaning no or very limited content/functionality. Users can always opt-back in.
While it is great that browser companies want to provide consumers with more control, the consumers themselves ought to make their decision in a way that is also truly informed. Publishers have really got to wake-up to actively owning this - that day is coming, albeit slowly. For the Bolsheviks, there really is no free lunch.
Related post from the Tip of the Spear Blog: Solutions to the Privacy Debate: Lemons, Carrots and Potatoes.