GDPR and adtech tracking cannot be reconciled, a point the bookmark below shows once more: 91% will not provide consent when given a clear unambiguous choice. GDPR enforcement needs a boost. So that adtech may die.

Marko Saric points to various options available to adtech users: targeted ads for consenting visitors only, showing ads just based on the page visited (as he says, “Google made their first billions that way“), use GDPR compliant statistics tools, and switch to more ethical monetisation methods. A likely result of publishers trying to get consent without offering a clear way to not opt-in (it’s not about opting-out, GDPR requires informed and unforced consent through opt-in, no consent is the default and may not impact service), while most websurfers don’t want to share their data, will mean blanket solutions like ad and tracker blocking by browsers as default. As Saric says most advertisers are very aware that visitors don’t want to be tracked, they might just be waiting to be actively stopped by GDPR enforcement and the cash stops coming in (FB e.g. has some $6 billion reasons every single month to continue tracking you).

(ht Peter O’Shaughnessy)

Bookmarked Only 9% of visitors give GDPR consent to be tracked

Privacy regulations such as the GDPR say that you need to seek permission from your website visitors before tracking them.
Most GDPR consent banner implementations are deliberately engineered to be difficult to use and are full of dark patterns that are illegal according to the law….. If you implement a proper GDPR consent banner, a vast majority of visitors will most probably decline to give you consent. 91% to be exact out of 19,000 visitors in my study.

TIL today. I have 3 data sim subscriptions and a phone/data subscription with the same telco. However two of those data subscriptions (which I added last year), never show up in my admin console with the telco. Meaning I don’t have easy access to older invoices, usage stats, and most importantly the subscription settings. This was odd, as all run under my personal company’s registration. The telco, now that I asked about it, told me that because I picked up those 2 additional data sims in one of their shops, staff booked both separately as a new customer, not under my existing customer account. The reason is shop staff receive a commission for new accounts, not for existing ones. Said the guy on the phone “and then we get to sort everything out manually on the back-end to match all those records up again”. It took him a few minutes to fix, and may take a few days to propagate through their systems. It also took extra time from me when I bought those data bundles, as it meant more steps (like proving the company is mine, id verification etc.). Commissions, in short, are a perverse impulse causing inefficiency and friction for both the customer and the telco.

That was the oddest phone call glitch. I phoned someone in the UK, after the first minute or so, I heard the ringing sound again while the connection was still up, and it seemed my counterpart picked up again, however it was a full playback of their side of the conversation. Then I hung up, and rang my counterpart back. They said they stopped hearing me, but the connection persisted (apparently while I got the play back from the ringing and their half of the previous parts of the conversation). Can’t come up with a simple tech explanation that does not involve capturing and storing the entire phonecall.

Mijn Open State Foundation collega Wilma Haan wordt per 1 september adjunct-hoofdredacteur bij de NOS. Het is een prachtige stap in haar staat van dienst in de journalistiek. Helaas is de consequentie wel dat Wilma daarmee haar huidige rol opgeeft als directeur van de Open State Foundation (waar ik bestuursvoorzitter ben sinds Wilma’s aantreden). Dat vind ik heel jammer, want we waren eigenlijk net lekker op dreef met elkaar. Zoals ze zelf zei kun je de timing van unieke kansen die voorbij komen zelf niet plannen. Vanuit de Open State Foundation zullen we snel een vacature openstellen voor een nieuwe directeur om de belangrijke missie van Open State Foundation voort te zetten met ons toffe team. Tot september werken Wilma, het bestuur en het team nauw samen om te zorgen dat een nieuwe directeur een vliegende start kan maken.

“Tell me forty-two thousand people haven’t watched this shit!” “Yep.” Veneza goes back to the search results and points out other horrifically large numbers. “That was one of their higher-count vids, but still. And, like, there’s a whole industry of dudes like this. The more inflammatory they are, the more people watch them, and the more money they make.” “White dude whining as a growth industry,”

White dude whining as a growth industry,

(from The City We Became, by N.K. Jemisin)

When exactly three months ago, on March 10th, the national advice became to stop shaking hands to reduce the spread of the Corona virus, I created a spreadsheet to track the numbers for myself. By the 13th we were advised to stay home from work, and by the 15th everything got shut down.

When I created the list I thought we might be in this for a long time, and set-up the table for three months, until today. By the time the lock-down measures were announced my estimate was it would be like that until June 1st. I filled out the last line in the original table just now, like I’ve done every day for the past three months.

At this moment, various measures have been eased, restaurants reopened. Much remains as well. No events, social distancing applied in trains and buses, and working from home until September (but several of my clients already saying January).

The numbers show things have been shifted back to a manageable level. Here’s the graph of deaths per week, against the log scale of the number of total cases tested positive. We’re not done, but we’re not being overwhelmed either. At a equilibrium of sorts.

I’ve come to the end of my original tracking table. Haven’t decided yet if I add another three months to the list.