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Ex-NebuAd staff target behavioural data via websites

Titsup Phormalike UK team try again

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

As NebuAd dismantles itself in the US, the team who had hoped to launch its Phorm-like web monitoring and profiling system in the UK are preparing another behavioural targeting venture.

Insight Ready Limited was incorporated on March 25 by Paul Goad, the man who had been NebuAd's UK boss.

According to a source close to the new firm, Goad started Insight Ready with the blessing of what remained of NebuAd US, but the two firms have no business or technical relationship beyond having some of the same personnel.

Unlike NebuAd, Insight Ready will not seek to collect data from inside ISP networks. Instead, when it launches "in several weeks", it will aim to collect behavioural data in partnership with website owners. The data will be "anonymised" and sold on to ad networks, with the cash split between websites and Insight Ready.

It will be closer to a "traditional" behavioural targeting system than to the deep packet inspection-dependent plans of NebuAd and Phorm.

The new business may still prove controversial however. It's understood behavioural data will be collected via code embedded in an "invisible pixel" on websites. European regulators have recently said that explicit, informed consent must be a part of all behavioural targeting systems.

Insight Ready believes its model means sites that do not carry advertising will still be able to make money by selling data on their users to others. Our source couldn't say what data will be collected or how exactly it will be processed.

We'll seek further details of Insight Ready's technology at a meeting planned for next week. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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