Matthew Ruttley, manager of Data Science at Mozilla Corporation’s Content Services, gave a special lecture for the Humanware Innovation program at Osaka University on the development of a new web standard relating to advertising and user privacy.
Presently, the most ubiquitous funding model for the internet is advertising, but there are problems relating to poor targeting of advertisements. To target more relevant advertisements, many websites collect vast amounts of data and sell it on to third parties, however, this has negative implications for user privacy. To resolve these problems and ‘change the function and funding of the internet’, Mr. Ruttley’s team at Mozilla are attempting to develop Open Intent. Open Intent is a concept that enables users to control how they are seen by websites when browsing the web; and enhance, depending on the context, the relevance of content or advertising.
Based on a user’s browsing history, their interests can be privately and locally quantified using a series of Open Source classifiers developed at Mozilla. The user can optionally broadcast this information to websites in a controlled way to improve the relevance of the site’s content. The team has developed a Firefox addon to demonstrate the quantification of browsing interests (see //www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/interest-dashboard). The lecture provided some ideas regarding the apparent failure of the internet advertising model to provide adequate funding for internet based businesses and some future solutions under development.
Produced by Zuben Brown