AdSubtract Remedies Hotmail Privacy Glitch by Blocking Ad Banners
by Jul 20, 2000, 7:53 AM
interMute, Inc., developers of AdSubtract ad-blocking software announced today that Hotmail's 67 million users can halt the data leakage of their e-mail address when receiving Hotmail HTML newsletters. According to AdSubtract, simply by reading these newsletters, a user's email address is inadvertently being revealed to third-party ad servers supplying banner ads for the newsletters. In a recent news article, Microsoft acknowledged that the problem is with core Hotmail technology and they plan to have a fix by August. AdSubtract, however, is claiming that by using their software, Hotmail users can put a stop to the leak immediately. AdSubtract - http://www.adsubtract.com - is a tool that selectively blocks Internet cookies and web bugs, which are often used to create online profiles of users web habits - not something most advertisers are happy to hear. For example, the basic version comes pre-configured to blocks both ads and cookies from DoubleClick. It can also be set to block all other ads and cookies, on all sites. The Pro version costs $30, and in addition to ads and cookies, blocks animations, pop-up windows, background images and even music. It will also block "referrers," special messages that tell a websites where you've just come from. The above seems nothing short of nightmarish to advertisers who depend on click-stream and anonymous profiling data for targeting their ads. But, AdSubtract.com president Ed English heartily defends the software he expects to be downloaded by nearly 10 million people by the middle of 2001. And, he has been quoted as saying his company is actually doing advertisers "a favor." Referring to the famous "I know half of my ad dollars are wasted, I just don't know which half," English said. "We're clearing that question for them - people who use our software have no interest in their advertising. We're saving the cost of reaching them."