Does the New York Times see the irony? This article talks about how US Congress should look much less at the privacy terms of big tech, and more at the actual business practices.

Yet it calls upon me to disable my ad blocker. The ad blocker that blocks 28 ads in a single article, all served by a Google advertisement tracker. One which one of my browsers flags as working the same way as cross site scripting attacks work.

If as you say adverts are at the core of your business model, making journalism possible, why do you outsource it?
I’m ok with advertising New York Times, but not with adtech. There’s a marked difference between the two. It’s adtech, not advertising, that does the things you write about, like “how companies can use our data to invisibly shunt us in directions” that don’t benefit us. And adtech is the reason that, as you the say, the “problem is unfettered data exploitation and its potential deleterious consequences.” I’m ok with a newspaper running their own ads. I’m not ok with the New York Times behaving like a Trojan horse, pretending to be a newspaper but actually being a vehicle for, your own words, the “surveillance economy”.

Until then my ad blocker stays.


My browser blocking 28 ads (see the address bar) on a single article, all from 1 Google ad tracker.

2 reactions on “New York Irony – AdTech and Privacy

  1. The contortions US media outlets go through, to be able to ignore the inescapable conclusion that adtech isn’t GDPR compatible (adverts are though). After the bluntness of the LA Times and others switching their site off for EU visitors. Aside from the NYT berating me that I have an adblocker when ads are their lifeblood (which must be why they outsource it). Now comes the NPR with a novel twist: they provide a plain text version of their content. It seems to be an interpretation of the GDPR element that you can’t deny basic service to those that refuse permission to collect personal data. Basic service apparently means no CSS files. Although it’s a slightly silly choice, I do appreciate being able to read the articles. It’s not much different from how material is presented in my feed reader, after all. They provide the text version of the site for all, on a separate subdomain, which seems a rendering of their rss feed: text.npr.org
    Get tracked, or get text: NPR’s GDPR choice
    A plain text page version of an NPR article

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