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NebuAd Aborts Big Brother

NebuAd [1]The Washington Post today reported that NebuAd has halted plans to deploy the deep-packet inspection tracking of internet users for their advertising platform. I’d earlier predicted that consumer sensitivity about NebuAd [2] could derail their business plans, and I reported how lawmakers pressured and ISP not to share data with NebuAd [3].

Meanwhile, Congress is examining issues around exploiting user data for behavioral marketing and targeted advertising, and the heavy uncertainty in the air would make NebuAd’s entire business modle appear to be a very unstable foundation.

Jeffrey Chester, Executive Director for the Center for Digital Democracy [4], is quoted as saying:

“NebuAd… seriously underestimated the privacy concerns.”

Does this completely derail the future of behavioral marketing on the internet? Probably not. Quite a number of companies, including Google, are already using user data to some degree (such as Geolocation [5]) in order to target content and advertising. The compelling needs for continued expansion and success of internet businesses will probably overwhelm the voice of consumer advocacy groups for a while longer.

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