NebuAd Pullback

NebuAd Halts Plans For Web Tracking (pdf)

Tech firm NebuAd has put on hold plans to widely deploy an online advertising technology that tracks consumers every Web click while Congress reviews privacy concerns associated with the technique.

The Silicon Valley company announced this week that founder and chief executive Bob Dykes was resigning. His departure comes as a number of Internet companies have suspended or canceled trials of NebuAds controversial tracking technique, known as deep-packet inspection, marketed to companies seeking to target ads to Web users.

Related: Candidates’ Web Sites Get to Know the Voters (pdf)

How did the campaign know which readers to send ads to? Although both the Obama and John McCain campaigns are reluctant to discuss details, the ability to identify sympathetic voters based on their Internet habits, and then to target them with ads as they move across the Web, is one of the defining aspects of the 2008 presidential campaign.