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经济学人:数字广告总是防不胜防

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Business.

商业。
Advertising on mobile phones.
手机广告。
Attack of the covert commercials.
广告的偷袭。
Digital ads are popping up in irritating places.
数字广告总是防不胜防。
EVERYONE hates digital ads. Yet the ads pay for the free apps that people love to download. Small wonder that crafty firms are slipping them into unexpected places. And that is why, on July 12th, America's Department of Commerce will hold a public meeting in Washington, DC, to discuss this and other aspects of mobile privacy.
没人喜欢数字广告,但为人们喜欢下载的那些免费软件买单的却是数字广告。狡猾的公司将广告植入在意料之外的地方已经不足为奇了。所以这就是美国商务部将于7月12日在华盛顿特区召开公开会议,商讨移动设备在这些等方面的隐私问题的原因了。
As smartphones and tablets capture ever more eyeballs, digital-ad firms such as AdMob, for which Google paid $750m in 2010, are hot. Not all have flourished: on July 2nd Microsoft took a $6.2 billion accounting charge, most of which reflected a writedown of the value of aQuantive, which it bought in 2007 for $6.3 billion. But the sector is now prominent enough to attract scrutiny.
智能手机和平板电脑吸引了越来越多公众的眼球,这时像是谷歌在2010年花了7.5亿收购的移动广告(AdMob)就很受欢迎。但并不是所有的(广告公司)都有所收获:在7月2日,微软有一笔62亿的财务支出,其中大部分反映了aQuantive公司的贬值,而该公司则是微软在2007年用63亿收购的。但该行业突显的市场规模足以到了吸引监管的地步。
Lookout, a mobile-security company, has analysed Google's Android ecosystem and spotlighted ten ad providers, including Moolah Media (which did not respond to requests for comment) and LeadBolt, that use one or more monetisation strategies it considers "aggressive". These include making ads appear outside apps (for instance, in the notification bar usually reserved for a person's text messages); altering mobile desktops and browsers so that, among other things, new icons appear that display ads when they are clicked on; and gaining access to personal information without giving a clear warning.
Lookout,一个移动设备安全性检验的公司,分析了谷歌安卓的生态系统并特别报道了十家卓越的广告供应商,包括Moolah Media(但其并未对此作出回应)和LeadBolt在内,声称他们运用了不止一种被认为"具有侵略性的"盈利策略。这些策略包括在室外应用服务(例如在保留私人信件的通知栏上)上打广告;改变手机桌面的浏览器——这样当使用者点击其他程序的时候,新图标就会出现;不提供明确警示的情况下获取个人信息。
Such practices can confuse and unnerve phone owners, says John Hering, Lookout's boss. The firm reckons apps using the networks on its list have already been downloaded at least 80m times in the Google Play app marketplace alone. They are common in apps that let people customise their phones with digital wallpaper and other stuff, and in simple games (see chart).
约翰·海林,Lookout的总裁说,这些策略会让手机用户困惑并在失去了使用手机的勇气。这家公司表明,在这个分析列表上,运用网络的应用仅仅在安卓电子市场就被下载了八千万次。人们根据自己对手机壁纸、应用和小游戏的不同需求对手机量体裁衣,这种现象已经非常普遍了
Richard Harris, the boss of Moonbeam Development, an American firm with about 200 published apps, says his company started using LeadBolt about a year ago. At first it went well, but when ads were pushed into people's notification bars and onto phones' desktops, users grew angry. Mr Harris says the company even received death threats.
理查德·哈里斯,Moonbeam Development,一家发行了大约两百种不同应用的美国公司的总裁声称,他们公司在一年前就已经开始接受LeadBolt了。一开始进展还很顺利,但当广告被植入公告栏和手机桌面后,用户就很生气。哈里斯先生说他的公司甚至收到过死亡恐吓信。
Dale Carr, the boss of LeadBolt, which is headquartered in Australia, says his company takes privacy seriously, and that it does not dictate to developers which ad units to choose from the range it offers. He also says LeadBolt lets people opt out of receiving ads sent to notification bars and desktops, though they need to go to its website to do so.
戴尔·凯尔,LeadBolt的总裁。他的公司总部设在澳大利亚,他说公司对于隐私问题是严肃对待的,他们不会唆使开发者针对不同的用户开发不同广告。他同时表明LeadBolt给予用户是否接收发往公告栏或桌面广告的权利,尽管用户需要到公司的官网上进行选择。
LeadBolt is working with academics and officials in Australia to define a self-regulatory framework for mobile advertising. But next week's discussions in America are crucial to any firm with a global reach. These will be a test of the Obama administration's commitment to protecting privacy, says Jeff Chester of the Centre for Digital Democracy. He speculates that the government is counting on Google and Apple to twist arms in the ad world. Apple already has a reputation for cracking down on apps that use controversial ad formats, so it could be a willing ally.
LeadBolt与澳大利亚的学者和官员联姻,来制定一种自我约束的移动设备广告的规章制度。但是下周美国的公开讨论对全球范围内任一家广告公司都非常重要。这将是对奥巴马管理集团在保护个人隐私方面的考验,数字民主中心的杰夫·切斯特表明。他推测,政府将指望谷歌和苹果在世界范围内扭转乾坤。苹果在处理使用受争议的广告的格式方面颇负盛名,所以它将是政府的好盟友。
"Mobile is the wild West," says Ran Avidan, the co-founder of Startapp, a mobile-ad network based in Israel that is also on Lookout's list. Startapp is striving to make its own policies clearer, but Mr Avidan is worried that governments may end up dictating rules for the industry.
Ran Avida,Startapp的联合创始人表明,"移动设备就像是西大荒(蛮荒的美国西部)",基于以色列网络的移动广告同样也在Lookout的名单上。Startapp正致力于让自己公司内部政策更加清楚,Avidan先生担心的是政府可能最终将垄断这个行业的行规制定权。
To avoid that, mobile-ad firms will have to act fast. App privacy policies should spell out what information ad networks are collecting and why. Firms should adopt an opt-in approach to the collection of personal data, such as phone numbers and e-mail addresses. And they should avoid collecting things such as unique phone identification numbers in ways that can be traced back to specific individuals. If they can stick to such principles, it would be a great advert for self-regulation.
为了避免这样的事情发生,移动广告公司将加快行动。应用服务隐私政策需要讲清楚的是网络需要收集哪些广告信息和为什么要收集。公司要采取双向确认的方式收集用户的个人信息,例如手机号码和电子邮件地址等等。并且这些公司需要避免收集那些像是特殊的可以用某些方法追溯回明确个人的身份证号码之类的信息。如果这些公司可以坚持这些原则,那么他们的行为就是自我约束最好的招牌。

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unique [ju:'ni:k]

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adj. 独一无二的,独特的,稀罕的

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aggressive [ə'gresiv]

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adj. 侵略的,有进取心的,好斗的

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stick [stik]

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n. 枝,杆,手杖
vt. 插于,刺入,竖起<

 
controversial [.kɔntrə'və:ʃəl]

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adj. 引起争论的,有争议的

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twist [twist]

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v. 拧,捻,搓,扭曲
n. 扭曲,盘旋,捻,

 
collection [kə'lekʃən]

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n. 收集,收取,聚集,收藏品,募捐

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covert ['kʌvət]

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adj. 隐蔽的,偷偷摸摸的,隐密的
n. 掩

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dictate [dik'teit]

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vi. 听写
vt. 口述,口授
n

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democracy [di'mɔkrəsi]

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n. 民主,民主制,民主国家

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commerce ['kɔmə:s]

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n. 商业,贸易

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