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Think Privacy CEO wants to name and shame sites that illegally detect adblockers

Adblockers are, have been, and will continue to be a matter of some controversy.

While sites rely on ad income to stay afloat, users are understandably irked by a barrage of flashy commercials and are increasingly turning to adblocking. To fight back, some sites are using various methods to detect the presence of an adblocker and then bypassing it.

This, in turn, upsets people once again, and the CEO of privacy and security consortium Think Privacy, Alexander Hanff, has come up with a solution. To fight back he has set up a website that names and shames those sites that "use illegal methods to detect that you are using an adblocker".

In launching the Campaign Against The Illegal Detection/Circumvention Of Adblocking Tools, Hanff aims not only to shame the sites that engage in the practice, but also to raise awareness of the issue. He wants to encourage people to submit details of their experiences with sites with a view to, ultimately, taking legal action where appropriate. He says:

"In a recent written opinion by the European Commission, they confirmed that the detection of adblocking tools by accessing information on a person’s device without first obtaining consent to do so, is illegal under Article 5(3) of the ePrivacy Directive.

While there is a European bent to the site, it raises the same privacy concerns on a global scale. Hanff warns:

"Advertising also uses up to 40 per cent of all the internet traffic being delivered to your device or computer, if you are on an internet package which comes with limited data, this is costing you money and a lot of it.

Take a look at the Think Privacy site for more details. If the list of reported sites looks a little sparse at the moment, it's because Hanff has to manually verify everything that's submitted.

So, if you've come across a site that detects your adblocker, get it reported.

Photo credit: argus / Shutterstock