Academic Search Engine Knobull Fights Ad Industry Tracking
By: Knobull Inc.
It's become clear that the ad-supported web needs to evolve to better support privacy and restore trust. They need to rethink the type of tools they have relied on to fund the open web, like third-party cookies—bits of code that help advertisers track people across the Internet. The largest browsers, including Chrome, have relied on third-party cookies.
Google leadership claims that they are choosing a new path toward privacy-centered advertising. Instead of tracking individual users across the web to determine their preferences, as they had previously done, they will rely on other methods to determine which ads to show them. Knobull has always been fighting against tracking.
Google has stated they have set a goal to help protect individual privacy and restore trust in ads. Without ads, the web could become a series of paywalls, limiting access to content to those who can afford to pay for it.
Time will tell if they put effort into keeping individuals anonymous by observing their behavior and placing them in large groups of people with similar interests—but not based on who they are. Knobull was built with a business model geared toward the use of secure native ads focused on the student community, instead of targeting them individually.
It's like going to a farmers market—the vendors don't know who you are, but they know lots of people will be looking for art, food, or gifts, and so they set up their booths to serve that audience. The advertisers trying to reach spinach fans can't see who exactly in the crowd is seeking out spinach and they don't need to.
Today, individuals are tracked closely by many companies—including Google—as they travel the web. If an ad has ever followed you around, even after you've purchased a product, you've experienced this firsthand.
Bentley concluded, "This innovative technology, and others like it, shows a path where relevant advertising and ad-supported content can coexist with a private and secure experience for people browsing the web. We are grateful that we could part of the initiative that has fought for these principles!"