ISPs Inserting Ads In Your Browsing Experience to Cash in on the Internet Ad Boom

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Not to be left out of the Internet Ad boom (such as those ubiquitous “Ads by Google” Adsense ads), it has been discovered that ISPs are cashing in on the ad money craze by inserting ads into your browsing experience using a service called NebuAd – that is, as you are browsing from website to website, your ISP may be adding their own contextually matched ads for you to see, overlayed on top of what you are browsing, based on what you are browsing!

How are they doing this?


It’s a service by a company called “NebuAd” (as in, we supposed, “Nebulous Ad”), and their, and we quote, “Generation3 behavioral targeting solution”.

Explains NebuAd, “As the US online advertising marketing grows to exceed $20 billion in 2007, the role of service providers (ISPs) has been limited to enabling, but not participating, in the online advertising revenue ecosystem. NebuAd’s Generation3 behavioral targeting solution works in conjunction with ISPs to transform their networks into revenue-generating online advertising opportunities.”

Basically, your ISP gets a device from NebuAd which sits between the ISP (and thus you), and the Internet. When you go out to the web, the device notes certain characteristics about you and where you are browsing, and serves up contextually relevant ads. When you click on one of those ads, the ad publisher is charged, and your ISP and NebuAd share that revenue.

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“NebuAd’s Generation3 behavioral targeting solutions are built to anonymously match advertisements to consumers based on highly segmented consumer categories, demographics, geography, lifestyle and interests. Within an ISP network, NebuAd’s Generation3 behavioral targeting solutions observe, analyze and act on consumer behavior across the entire Internet, uniquely operating without having to rely on desktop software, cookies, adware or spyware and without collecting and using any personally identifiable information. ISPs in partnership with NebuAd are able to deliver an enhanced browsing experience through the delivery of the most relevant, meaningful advertisements to each consumer in the appropriate place at the most appropriate time,” explains the NebuAd site. (Read more at the NebuAds site.

What do you think about this? How do you feel about your own ISP – whom you presumably already pay – inserting ads into your browsing experience, based on information it can only glean by snooping on you, just to make an extra buck?

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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5 thoughts on “ISPs Inserting Ads In Your Browsing Experience to Cash in on the Internet Ad Boom

  1. If you take a look at this huge thread (UK Cable forum) you can track the efforts there to force ISPs to stop using phorm , a similar technology. http://tinyurl.com/65uvhf

  2. The end result here is that my ISP will use my bandwidth that I’m already overpaying for to serve ads I don’t care about and will never click on; ads that deface someone’s carefully crafted Web site…
    Not only “NO!”, but “FSCK NO!”.

  3. If it affects the search results i am against it but if it does not then it may be a good idea and we always have the power to go elsewhere

  4. NebuAd will soon be sued out of existence for copyright infringement. You can’t take a copywritten work (such as a web page), alter it (add ads) and republish it to money from it without permission from the copywrite holder.

    Which they will never give, unless they get a cut of the money as well.

  5. I feel that it is outrageous that ISPs would add their own content to anything that I wish to view.

    The fact that they would have to spy on me in order to deliver relevant content is totally unacceptable.

    However, if only generic content were to be used, with no spying on what I am viewing,
    I might be swayed if they were to at least triple my bandwidth and mailbox size.

    The ISPs and also the computer makers are constantly touting the advantages of the digital age but many times folks email boxes are so small that they can only receive a few pictures at a time before the mailbox becomes full and then email is rejected.

    I feel that ISPs are already being overpaid by home-users for the product that they deliver.

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