Ghostery does, in fact, have ties to the advertising industry via service relationships for privacy technology. Ghostery makes no attempts to hide this. Millions of consumers, as well as federal regulators, embrace the idea of using a privacy extension to help police the industry that makes a privacy extension useful in the first place. Ghostery didn’t invent the market that Abine entered when they bought TACO [Targeting Advertising Cookie Opt-Out – editor]. Ghostery made it functional for consumers as well as businesses concerned with their consumer relationships. Perhaps most importantly, Ghostery’s reasonable and respected voice means that consumer privacy advocates, federal regulators, and the advertising industry are all willing to engage with it, which is why you see great stuff happen like the recent response from GoDaddy, which published its own latency-improving results, which were driven by Ghostery.
2. Ghostery doesn't block by default.
As part of its mission, Ghostery believes that increased transparency and education are fundamentally important aspects of user privacy. So does the US Federal Trade Commission. While blocking is another important aspect, we believe it should not be given primary consideration at the expense of enabling transparency and education. It's not difficult to block anything or everything in Ghostery if anyone chooses to do so. Ghostery is committed to making sure consumers know what they are doing when they make that choice. Blocking can have unintended consequences, so a block-all tool is forced to limit their inclusion of functional trackers (comment forms, video players, etc.) or break a user’s Web experience. Ghostery recognizes that every person’s tolerance is different, and enables individual users to set the scales.
In the little more than two years since its inception, Ghostery has done more to educate consumers about online privacy than perhaps any other company. The thousands of consumers who download it every day all share a certain pride in the understanding and protection it provides – that “a-ha” moment when it’s suddenly clear what’s going on behind the browser, and the relief that comes with complete control of their Web experience.
And now a few responses to Ghostery’s response.