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Is on-line advertising about to implode?

Yesterday I mentioned that many on-line advertising campaigns generate less revenue (let alone profit) than they cost.  Today the Drum carries an article on the scale of fraud in the on-line advertising market.

The time has come to enlist the on-line advertisers in the fight against on-line crime and fraud. It is not just that they (and their customers) are among the biggest victims. Their entire “industry” may be at risk. If so, the business model of advertising funded Internet access and services is also at risk. As I warned  yesterday, the result could help tip the west into recession and increase the risk of an Internet-enabled 1930s style mix of nationalism, socialism and protectionism.

No wonder that the Internet Society, ICANN and the IETF are now taking the issues of Trust, Security and Identity much more seriously.  Perhaps pan-European (and Global) co-operation to improve trust should feature more prominently than the GDPR in the Brexit negotiations.

My personal conclusion is that support for the work of the IETF in developing effective global standards for the secure and trusted interoperability of digital identities  should be at the heart of our new industrial strategy . I hope this message will come out clearly from the work that the 21st Century Infrastructure Group of the Digital Policy Alliance is planning with the IET on guidance for practitioners involved today in planning and procurement for a future ready world tomorrow.

I was also delighted to learn recently that the current Chairman of the Conservative Technology Forum is about to announce an impressive (relevant UK/EU/Global technology and business experience plus MPs who recognise the importance for jobs in their constituencies) little group to look at how to make current UK government digital identity policy (e.g. Verify) fit for a “smart” post-Brexit world.

Now I plan to go back to assembling my response to the consultation on  how to pull through investment in full fibre networks to help the UK thrive at the heart of a global digital single market as opposed to becoming a latter day Cannery Row, sifting the cybercrud that floats our way. I am delighted that I was wrong, the last time I warned of the danger –  but we are once again at risk of slipping behind as the rest of the world proceeds on its way towards wireless meshes supported by full fibre.  BT’s obsession with extending the life of an obsolete copper network is more than a bit like British Railway’s 1950s obsession with preserving steam while the rest of the world was going diesel and/or electric. One consequence is that my Internet behaviour changed as my searches became clogged with advertising bloatware. That is also one of the reasons I now blog less frequently.

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