Mozilla And Facebook Propose New Ad Tech That Preserves Your Privacy…. Think About That For A Moment

From the “I did not see this coming” department comes news that Meta/Facebook has teamed up with Mozilla to come up with new technology that can measure “conversions” from advertising while still preserving privacy. The proposed new technology is called Interoperable Private Attribution, or IPA:

IPA has two key privacy-preserving features. First, it uses Multi-Party Computation (MPC) to avoid allowing any single entity — websites, browser makers, or advertisers — to learn about user behavior. Mozilla has some experience with MPC systems as we’ve deployed Prio for privacy-preserving telemetry. Second, it is an aggregated system, which means that it produces results that cannot be linked to individual users. Together these features mean that IPA cannot be used to track or profile users.

IPA is designed to provide a lot of flexibility for advertising businesses in terms of how they use the system. Cross-device and cross-browser attribution options in IPA enable new and more robust attribution capabilities, while maintaining privacy. The IPA proposal aims to ensure that all sites benefit from these features with the match key concept, which allows smaller players to access the greater reach of entities to cross-device attribution.

My $0.02 worth goes something like this:

  1. if Facebook is involved at all then it’s going to be all shades of wrong.
  2. Mozilla is just part of this because Facebook has cash and name brand recognition.
  3. The invasive tactics by various companies to gather more and more data about me has really made me jaded about any proposal that any company has that claims to preserve my privacy. And when one of those proposals comes from Facebook. There’s zero chance that I would believe it seeing as Facebook’s whole business model is about invading your privacy so that they can make a buck.

As far as I am concerned, this proposal is DOA. And Mozilla’s involvement really makes me think not as highly about Mozilla as I once did. If I were them, I would rethink my involvement with Facebook as that smells like a deal with the Devil.

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