Privacy: Are ad networks using IP addresses instead of cookies nowadays?

Discussion in 'Apple, Industry and Internet Discussion' started by spacepower7, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I'm wondering about some ad networks nowadays, are they tracking via IP addresses rather than cookies?


    So I've been going to my parents house every morning for the past few weeks. They are "old" but I'm probably "old" on this website so they could be called "very old" ;)

    Anyway, I'm drinking my coffee this morning reading a Mac Tech/Rumor website on my iPad (not this website). There was an ad for info on prostate cancer. We just found out my father has prostate cancer 1 week ago. I have never typed the words prostate or cancer on my iPad. He might researched prostate cancer on his computer?

    Why the hell do ad companies know this info?

    Somehow their IP address is associated with prostate cancer and showing me ads for additional info?

    Marketing companies know that my father has prostate cancer before he even has time to tell his children?

    How low can advertising go?
  2. macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    God bless the power of dynamic IPs. But in all honesty, I have no idea if ads can do this or not. But I'm sure they'll be prepared to sink even lower to make sure you click on one of their offerings.
  3. macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    1. Yes they can.
    2. Why does it matter? Why do you even read ads?
    3. It sounds like the add were actually useful. Would you have preferred to see add for mail-order brides or auto repair? Maybe for the latest in female hygiene? Seriously, who is it hurting that they target you with things that may interest you? FYI that's pretty much all they can do with the info.
  4. thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004

    2. It matters bc they have info about me or my household without asking permission. I was never told they were collecting this info.

    3. the ads weren't useful bc they are trying to charge for info they compiled from Wikipedia and WebMD

    1. Yes they can, but should they? If for profit companies can assimilate this info, then shouldn't the NSA be allowed to?

    How old or naive are you that you side with advertisers over personal privacy?

    Glad to know that you side with advertisers VS a family's right to privacy when dealing with cancer.
  5. macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    How has it violated your privacy that an as popped up on your iPad? They don't have your name, address, or anything else. All they have is a way of showing you an as based on what your IP address has been used for. Does that seriously, genuinely violate your privacy? Does it affect you in any measurable way? I'm guessing no, other than "omg they're taking my rights away!!!1!"

    If you're that unhappy about it, your one option is to stay off the internet. Good luck with that.
  6. macrumors 603

    Aug 9, 2009
    Use an ad blocker.
  7. macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2011
    Simple: To bypass the privacy features found in modern browsers.
  8. thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    So you totally advocate the NSA spying, but also for-profit advertisers?

    If the ad company has a deal with my ISP, they know the name of subscriber, address etc...

    Does it invade privacy? When a 70+ year old male who subscribes to the ISP and searches the term "prostate cancer" and now ads for prostate cancer info are sent to all devices on that wifi network. What is "good" about that?

    I actually suspected that my father had prostate cancer 1 week before he told me, bc I saw the ads on my iPad, and when questioned, he had been searching for a week on his computer.

    So for profit Internet advertising companies know about my fathers prostate cancer, and hint to me thru ads before he has time to explain it to me and his other children.

    You think that's ok? Is that the world you want to live in?
  9. macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    I never said anything about the NSA. For-profit advertising is fine, it doesn't affect me in any negative way.

    Yeah, that's not how it works. They only have access to the info you give them. If you gave them nothing, they have nothing. If you gave them your name and address, you have only yourself to blame.

    What's bad about it? The ads didn't give him cancer. For all you know he could have looked it up for a friend, or a guest searched it on their wi-fi.

    Ok, so what's the problem here? Suppose you stumbled upon it in his search history, is the browser at fault then? Grow up, the world isn't perfect, but none of this is the fault of advertising.

    They hint it at you? Please, you were nosey and managed to connect the dots. That's no fault of theirs. They didn't know your dad had cancer, they know that your dads IP address accessed one of their sites. It's very different. You're grasping at straws here to make an enemy out of something that could easily be ignored. It's a first world problem at best.
  10. macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009
    boss.king: I think you missed the OPs point here, and actually it's a good one.

    Your ISP will have all of your personal information. Your real name, your address, and very likely your credit score and other related information.

    More importantly, they'll know what your IP address is, and what it has been in the past.

    So, yes, they'll have more than "just what you gave them."

    I could very well see ISPs selling this seemingly innocent information to advertising analytics companies that can (and do) merge that information from other sources to see what you personally (well, your account) are looking at, even without cookies.
  11. macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    My point was that this is not what they do, and moreover any information they can get is still subject to the law, as well as still being limiting in what advertisers can actually do with it. Simply using an adblocker negates anything they can use it for. The OP's point was that they had invaded his privacy and wronged him, neither of which were true.
  12. thread starter macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I'm the OP and I welcome you're comments.

    There are many details I'd like to discuss and learn about here.

    From my understanding most Ad Block programs only block the display of ads in a browser, but the underlying ad cookies and tracking still happens unless the user actually blacklists the ad servers?

    If the ads are supplied by my ISP, they have more info than I agreed to give anyone.

    Now AT&T wants to sell ads based on my location data, and are declaring it official even though they have been doing it for 6 months? If AT&T wants to sell ads, they can reduce my monthly fee or sell me free wireless service subsidized by their ads.

    I've studied advertising across many industries and telecom is full of the worst abusers.

    "Do not track" is a joke, I've worked in advertising and most ignore it.

    I could rant about this for days ;)
  13. macrumors 68020


    Feb 28, 2009
  14. boss.king, Jul 4, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013

    macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    Again, despite all of this, advertisers can't actually do much with your info. Even if they know where you live, your name, your IP address, and all sorts, all it does is let them display things that might be relevent on your computer. An as blocker negates all of that.
  15. macrumors 68030


    Sep 3, 2011
    The problem with ad blockers is that they deprive most websites of their only income.
  16. macrumors 68040


    Apr 8, 2009
    Its not a perfect world. Either people show you ads or they lose revenue. That's the reality of things.
  17. macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I agree with the OPs concerns.
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2004

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