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|Citation||In proceedings of NDSS 2010.
Online behavioral advertising (OBA) refers to the practice of tracking users
across web sites in order to infer user interests and preferences. These
interests and preferences are then used for selecting ads to present to the
user. There is great concern that behavioral advertising in its present form
infringes on user privacy. The resulting public debate - which includes
consumer advocacy organizations, professional associations, and government
agencies - is premised on the notion that OBA and privacy are inherently in
In this paper we propose a practical architecture that enables targeting without compromising user privacy. Behavioral profiling and targeting in our system takes place in the user's browser. We discuss the effectiveness of the sys- tem as well as potential social engineering and web-based attacks on the architecture. One complication is billing; ad-networks must bill the correct advertiser without knowing which ad was displayed to the user. We propose an efficient cryptographic billing system that directly solves the prob- lem. We implemented the core targeting system as a Firefox extension and report on its effectiveness.
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