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pogue

Don't delete Opt-Out Advertising Cookies

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There are two groups in the US that allow end users to place opt-out cookies in their browsers, which, according to them, blocks the end user from receiving "behavioral advertising" from ad networks. Essentially this means if you search for cars in your search engine of choice, that search engine and their affiliated advertising partners will place a cookie in the end users browser and display advertisements based on cars (or other related searches and so forth conducted by the user).

 

One group in the US is the Network Advertising Initiative and the other is the Digital Advertising Alliance. What both of these groups do is check your browsers cookie settings and determine if opt-out cookies set by most of the major players in the behavioral advertising game are either on or off. When an end user opts-out of behavioral advertising, they are 'supposedly' not tracked by these third party advertisers and ads are not generated based off what they do and search for online. This is important since not being tracked is what the majority of internet users want, according to various polls.

 

However, each time CCleaner runs and erases cookies out of an end users web browser, it will erase these cookies, requiring them to be reset again each time this is done. It becomes a bit of a tedious process. Now, of course, in order for these cookies to exist in the first place the end user must have visited one or both of the websites listed above and manually opted themselves out of behavioral advertising. There are also third party tools & extensions that will automatically set these cookies or block them entirely, but they are browser specific and these websites and organizations that set the opt-out cookie work on any browser. There are also arguments that opt-out cookies are not effective and end users should use alternate methods to block these third party ad networks. However, I believe that is beside the point.

 

So, what I'm proposing is a third party ini file or reg file that will define these cookies as set NOT to be deleted to save users the trouble of going back and redoing the entire opt-out process each time CCleaner w/ cookie cleaning is run.

 

I just ran CCleaner, opened a fresh copy of each browser on my Win7 system (Chrome, Opera, Safari, IE10, & Firefox) and set these opt-out cookies in each browser and under Options -> Cookies in CCleaner I moved all the cookies that I want to be kept in the separate tab. I cannot confirm that each and every one of these cookies is an advertising cookie, so it would be helpful if someone could run a verification test to determine if they are valid. But here are my results.

 

[Options]
Language=1033
UpdateKey=05/05/2013 05:45:06 PM
CookiesToSave=14590122.log.optimizely.com|247realmedia.com|2o7.net|33across.com|a.ak6i.net|a.intentmedia.net|a.netmng.com|a.tellapart.com|a1.interclick.com|abmr.net|about.shopzilla.com|aboutads.info|acxiom.com|ad.mlnadvertising.com|ad.wsod.com|ad.yieldmanager.com|adadvisor.net|adap.tv|adblade.com|adbrite.com|adchemy.com|addthis.com|adlegend.com|admeld.com|admonkey.dapper.net|adnxs.com|adobe.com|adobe.demdex.net|adready.com|ads.mediaforge.com|ads.pointroll.com|ads.undertone.com|adsonar.com|adsrvr.org|adtech.de|adtechus.com|advertising.aol.com|advertising.com|adviva.net|afy11.net|aggregateknowledge.com|agkn.com|akamai.com|amazon-adsystem.com|amazon.com|amgdgt.com|analytics.yahoo.com|apps.pubmatic.com|askmen.com|atdmt.com|ats.tumri.net|atwola.com|audienceiq.com|audiencescience.com|b3.mookie1.com|bh.contextweb.com|bing.com|bizographics.com|bizrate.com|bluecava.com|bluekai.com|brilig.com|btrll.com|burstnet.com|casalemedia.com|catalinamarketing.com|chango.com|channelintelligence.com|choice.microsoft.com|choicestream.com|cmads.com.tw|cmadsasia.com|cmadseu.com|cmmeglobal.com|cogmatch.net|cognitivematch.com|collective-media.net|contextweb.com|counter.hitslink.com|criteo.com|crosspixel.net|crsspxl.com|crwdcntrl.net|d.adroll.com|datonics.com|dc.tremormedia.com|decdna.net|decideinteractive.com|demdex.net|displaymarketplace.com|domdex.com|dotomi.com|doubleclick.net|dtfssearch.com|edge.ru4.com|eloqua.com|everesttech.net|exelator.com|extremetech.com|eyereact.eyereturn.com|eyereturn.com|eyewonder.com|ez.n.btbuckets.com|fastclick.net|fetchback.com|fimserve.com|geek.com|glam.com|gmads.net|google.com|gwallet.com|ib-ibi.com|ibeu.mookie1.com|ibeu2.mookie1.com|ibla.ib-ibi.com.br|ibla2.ib-ibi.com.br|ign.com|imiclk.com|info.catalinamarketing.com|info.evidon.com|info.yahoo.com|intellitxt.com|interclick.com|invitemedia.com|kontera.com|legolas-media.com|linkedin.com|live.com|liveperson.net|liverail.com|load.exelator.com|loc1.hitsprocessor.com|logicbuy.com|lucidmedia.com|mathtag.com|media.netseer.com|media6degrees.com|mediaforge.com|mediaplex.com|meteorsolutions.com|microsoft.com|mixpo.com|mmismm.com|mookie1.com|msn.com|mxptint.net|nai-optout.invitemedia.com|netmng.com|netseer.com|network.bazaarvoice.com|networkadvertising.org|nexac.com|oasc-corpweb.247realmedia.com|omtrdc.net|oo.afy11.net|openx.net|opt.fimserve.com|optout.ad.us-ec.adtechus.com|optout.adserver.adtechus.com|optout.adserverec.adtechus.com|optout.adserverwc.adtechus.com|optout.adsonar.com|optout.adtech.de|optout.advertising.com|optout.askmen.com|optout.crwdcntrl.net|optout.extremetech.com|optout.geek.com|optout.glb.adtechus.com|optout.ib-ibi.com|optout.ign.com|optout.logicbuy.com|optout.mookie1.com|optout.mookie1.decdna.net|optout.mookie1.decideinteractive.com|optout.mookie1.dtfssearch.com|optout.mookie1.pm14.com|optout.pcmag.com|optout.pictela.net|optout.reson8.com|optout.tacoda.at.atwola.com|owneriq.net|p-td.com|p.brilig.com|pcmag.com|pfa.levexis.com|picadmedia.com|pictela.net|pm14.com|po.st|pro-market.net|proclivitymedia.com|pswec.com|pubmatic.com|pulse360.com|pulsemgr.com|quantserve.com|raasnet.com|realmedia.com|recs.richrelevance.com|reson8.com|revsci.net|rfihub.com|richrelevance.com|rlcdn.com|rs.gwallet.com|ru4.com|rubiconproject.com|sales.liveperson.net|scanscout.com|serving-sys.com|sharethis.com|shopzilla.com|specificclick.net|specificmedia.com|static.olark.com|steelhousemedia.com|t.tellapart.com|tacoda.net|tag.admeld.com|tellapart.com|tidaltv.com|trackalyzer.com|trafficmp.com|tremormedia.com|tremorvideo.com|tribalfusion.com|triggit.com|tt.omtrdc.net|tubemogul.com|tumri.net|turn.com|udmserve.net|undertone.com|via.me|w55c.net|wsod.com|www.247media.com|www.247realmedia.com|www.aboutads.info|www.aboutads.net|www.acxiom.com|www.adap.tv|www.adaramedia.com|www.adblade.com|www.addthis.com|www.adobe.com|www.adready.com|www.adroll.com|www.aggregateknowledge.com|www.akamai.com|www.amazon.com|www.audiencescience.com|www.catalinamarketing.com|www.choicestream.com|www.extremetech.com|www.geek.com|www.google.com|www.linkedin.com|www.logicbuy.com|www.mathtag.com|www.networkadvertising.org|www.realmedia.com|www.themig.com|www.turn.com|www.visitortracklog.com|www2.glam.com|xgraph.net|yahoo.com|yieldmanager.net|yieldoptimizer.com|youknowbest.com|yt1187.net|yumenetworks.com|zedo.com

 

Again, to reiterate, these cookies should be universal for all browsers across all operating systems, as they are only text based and not flash or anything else.

 

You can read more about these tracking/behavioral analysis cookies here

Please let me know your thoughts on this. Any and all comments - positive or negative are welcome.

 

Thanks,

pogue

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You may wish to check out DoNotTrackMe by Abine

 

I would also be glad to maintain a list of known opt-out cookies, though I wouldn't know where to start.

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May also wish to look into ticking in browsers Firefox, Chromium-based the "Do Not Track" options. Install Ghostery into your compatible browser(s), install trusted ad blocking software ("Adblock Plus for Firefox, AdBlock for Chrome", etc), and install a trusted HOSTS file such as MVPS.org HOST File.

 

Although you can tick those boxes in browsers and even maintain a list of opt-out cookies there's zero guarantee or trust that they'll actually honour your wishes.

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These opt out cookies have been discussed on here a number of times before, and it seems one could end up with hundreds of these things on a machine, all pertaining to be protecting the PC user from being "exploited" for want of a better term.

 

I've always been of the school of thought, alluded to by Andavari above, that this thing is open like everything else on the internet, to abuse by unscrupulous companies, and I can't see there being any real way to tell as to whether any of these opt out cookies are actually what they're supposed to be.

 

This scheme is just too tempting for the unscrupulous to be able to deposit a "protected" cookie onto a machine.

 

All just my humble opinion of course.

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