Feeds

Doubleclick unleashes forces of darkness

Cookies are the devil's imps

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

WinXP IE6 spells death for Doubleclick - and a boost for MSN?
IE6 will not monster our cookies, says Doubleclick

Mention the word Doubleclick, and you're likely to arouse some strong feelings. Brian Uecker is typical of the large number of readers who wrote in this week on this subject:

It just keeps getting better.

First Lettice's multi-part series of special pleading for Doubleclick, which culminated today in an embarrassingly weepy apologia for the marketing company/Internet parasite. He even uses the phrase "paid their debt to society", thereby absolving them of criticism (apparently) while he sets off on a clueless, uninformed, and obviously prejudiced rant against MS for doing something he only THINKS it might be doing. And his views on Microsoft pushing stronger privacy are nicely twisted so that no matter what the company does, it's just EVIL. (There's no point complaining to Lettice about this as he now claims that he killfiles anyone who writes in with criticism of his articles - nice.)

Now this article, which starts out as something of a reversal then goes on to say how bloody unfair it is that Doubleclick has to answer for its invasive tactics in a court of law.

You say the depth of hatred towards Doubleclick "astonishes" you - this from a rag that trashes Microsoft every chance it gets and unfailingly refuses to issue retractions when it gets things wrong. Come off it. You may be in bed with Doubleclick, but your readership isn't. Maybe it's time to ask yourself if you are really looking at the matter objectively. That depth of hatred didn't come from nowhere, and not everyone's memory operates on Internet time. Gee, it was only last year they tried to take over the world, well that was a long time ago, wasn't it?

Also, your final statement is disingenuous in the extreme. Most people don't mind accepting cookies that come from the same domain. It's the third party ones that this is about, remember? I know these articles take a long time to write, but please try not to lose the plot between the first and last paragraphs.

Brian, the fact that this letter has been printed is proof that we do not bin criticism. John Lettice certainly does not 'killfile' such attacks. He gets his secretary to do it for him usually.

But we digress. Jason Bassford is unhappy about the 'Big Brother' aspect to this saga:

Re: "If you want to avoid signing in each time, or want some degree of personalisation, you will have to accept a cookie on your PC. Is that really so difficult?"

Yes. (Well, not technically, but morally.)

I refuse to have any of my activities monitored for whatever reason, under the guise that it's for my own good. It's not. It's for the good of the advertising companies who want to make money. Maybe capitalism's the right idea, but I'm not going to take part in somebody else's scheme. (Unless, say, they want to kick back a certain small percentage of their profits into my pockets. Maybe then I'd be willing to put up with their tracking my personal habits.)

I don't use IE because I don't buy into Microsoft telling me how and where I should browse - I just don't like Big Brother.

I have my browser prompt me if I want to accept a cookie from each new site I visit. I always say no, and tell it to remember. I'm not accepting any cookies from anyone. The only exception is some search engine sites where I've wanted to set preferences (then turned cookies off again once I already had the one I wanted), and sites where I do online shopping and have to have them in order to add items into my virtual basket. (Although I normally delete all cookies after such transactions.)

And if signing in is the only alternative to cookies, I'd be more than happy to turn to that method.

Frank Romano, on the other hand, reckons that there is a simple solution to the whole issue:

Love your piece on Doubleclick and it's problems. I agree, if you don't want the cookies then don't accept them. If you can't view the sight because you didn't accept the cookie them stop your whining. Just delete your temp-internet files every couple of days. If you want to ensure that you're not being tagged install "Ad-aware". At least you can get rid of spy ware you're not aware is there. Have a great day :-)

Thanks, we will. Finally, we have Adrian Stere with some sound advice for Doubleclick haters everywhere:

Nice piece on Doubleclick. I'm glad to see them get what anyone who violates other people's privacy deserves. But, despite the tone of the previous sentence, I don't hate them. In fact, I don't really care much about their tracking business, since I block all doubleclick traffic at the firewall and browse with cookies off. And I would suggest to all
Doubleclick haters to do the same, instead of filling up your mailbag with pointless hate mail. :-)

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Motorist 'thought car had caught fire' as Adele track came on stereo
'FIRE' caption on dashboard prompts dunderheaded hard shoulder halt
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
Japanese artist cuffed for disseminating 3D ladyparts files
Printable genitalia fall foul of 'obscene material' laws
Carlos: Slim your working week to just three days of toil
'Midas World' vision suggests you retire later, watch more tellie and buy more stuff
Brit Rockall adventurer poised to quit islet
Occupation records broken, champagne corks popped
Accused! Yahoo! exec! SUES! her! accuser!, says! sex! harassment! never! happened!
Allegations were for 'financial gain', countersuit claims
Yahoo! Japan! launches! service! for! the! dead!
If you're reading this email, I am no longer alive
Plucky Rockall podule man back on (proper) dry land
Bold, barmy Brit adventurer Nick Hancock escapes North Atlantic islet
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.