Web Spying Firm NebuAd's Latest Worry: Congress

Controversial ad-targeting firm NebuAd is on a bad roll: Customers have been abandoning the firm, and now three House members are demanding answers from an ISP that tested its technology.

MediaPost, which is following this story closer than anyone, reports that Reps Ed Markey (D-Mass), John Dingell (D-Mich) and Joe Barton (R-Texas) want to know if Kansas-based ISP Embarq notified its users before it started collecting Web surfing data via NebuAd.

“We are concerned that Embarq may not have directly notified the subscribers involved in the test that their Web use was being analysed and profiled,” they wrote in a letter to the firm. Embarq confirmed it had received the letter but declined to comment further. The ISP has until July 21 to respond.

Charter, the biggest ISP to test NebuAd, sent letters to subscribers in four markets warning them that it was planning to test NebuAd, and that triggered the Congressional scrutiny NebuAd now faces. Charter ended up cancelling the test.

NebuAd CEO Bob Dykes spent a day last week testifying before the Senate Commerce Committee on online ad tracking. The House Energy and Commerce Telecommunications Subcommittee is holding a hearing on the topic Thursday.

See Also: Another Internet Provider Abandons Ad Targeting Plan
Charter: We Won’t Start Selling Your Surfing History To Advertisers, For Now
behavioural Targeting: Big Noise, Tiny Business

Google Softening On behavioural Targeting

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