Privacy Blog

“By continuing the process of inflation, governments can confiscate secretly and unobserved an important part of the wealth of their citizens.” – John Maynard Keynes, writing about the effects of a seemingly small amount of inflation every year.

Ad Networks Track Us all over the Web

pop-up-adsBitcoin Strategy Group co-founder Victoria Van Eyk recently wrote an article entitled “Ads Suck” in which she writes that lots of top publishers anticipate that ad blocking will reach 30 percent of internet users shortly. She writes:

“They clutter up our desktop and mobile experiences, and they annoy us and startle us with unexpected pop-ups.

“Sometimes they may even start speaking or start playing music randomly, and we must drop whatever we’re doing to stop their reign of terror. And then, they aggressively drag us to places unknown if we accidentally click them.

“And… ads are getting scarier.

“These days, if you look at pair of shoes online and don’t buy them, they will actually stalk you. You may not even be able to close your browser without them following you around and continuing to track your every move.

“Creepiest of all, they know where to find you next. They’re waiting for you. They know what you wear, what you like to eat, what problems you have with your boyfriend, what you struggle with, and even where you live….”

Van Eyk then goes on to recommend that advertisers stop using obnoxious ads that irritate potential customers and especially to stop using ads that track users across the Internet. You can read Ads Suck by Victoria Van Eyk at

From the user’s viewpoint, the more obnoxious ads are rather easy to block. See my earlier article, Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Privacy Badger at and How to Block Advertisers from Tracking Your Mobile Device at

One of the bigger problems with ad blockers is that they frequently block access to sites that have intrusive ads, even if the site has information that you might want to read. If we choose not to turn off our ad block software, we are restricted from viewing the site. While it is good to block the ads, blocking access to the entire web site might be a bit extreme. Luckily, there is an easy work-around for most web sites.



After clicking on a link and finding access to a web site is blocked such as the message shown above on, back up. Then right-click on the original link. When a pop-up menu appears, click on “Open Link in Incognito Window.” In most cases, the new incognito window will allow access to the site. Even better, the incognito window does not supply tracking information to the web site.

This solution will not work on all web sites that are blocked but will work on most of them. Try it.

Categories: Online Privacy & Security

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