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Ben Laurie blathering


Who the Hell are 2o7?

My friend Adriana pointed me to this cool track-blocking extension for Chrome.

Back in the day, I used to do this kind of blocking “by hand” – i.e. by manually deciding which cookies to block and which to allow. This is far from an exact science – it’s fairly easy to block some sites into uselessness – so I’m pleased to see an automated alternative.

In any case, it all came to an end when Chrome decided (without any explanation I ever saw) to drop the ability to control cookies, so extensions are probably the only way now.

Anyway, it reminded me of something I kept meaning to look into but never really got very far, which is 2o7.net. This domain crops up all the time if you start monitoring cookies, and clearly is some massive tracking operation. But I’ve never heard of it, and nor has anyone else I know.

So … who the hell are 2o7? (And yes, I can do whois, which leads me to Omniture. Not much the wiser. Except they now seem to be owned by Adobe – mmm – looking forward to mixing all that tracking data with Adobe’s careful attention to security).

Note, btw, the cool track-blocking extension doesn’t appear to have heard of 2o7 either. From my experience you can just block all their cookies without harm.

6 Comments

  1. It seems Adobe has released some “information” about this here http://www.omniture.com/en/privacy/2o7?f=2o7
    You can even Opt-Out from there service on this page.
    There is another extension for that https://chrome.google.com/extensions/detail/gbiekjoijknlhijdjbaadobpkdhmoebb for doubleclick

    Comment by Fabian — 24 Feb 2011 @ 14:53

  2. FWIW – It isn’t really all that different from Google Analytics 🙂 In many cases first-party by contract to the host it is embedded on, much like google analytics.

    Comment by Andy — 24 Feb 2011 @ 20:22

  3. They’re like Google Analytics, but not by Google.

    Comment by Nick Richards — 24 Feb 2011 @ 23:00

  4. Did you try asking Google? http://www.omniture.com/en/privacy/2o7

    Comment by Ivan Dobsky — 24 Feb 2011 @ 23:34

  5. 2o7 appeared on my radar early on too as a ubiquitous tracker used by numerous sites. 2o7.net (and all of its variations) was one of the first domains I decided to block at the DNS level so no bits ever get communicated from my entire network to them or from them. This protects against cookies, scripts, web bugs, and iframes in not only every browser and app on every computer, but also on phones connecting via wi-fi, set-top boxes, game consoles, etc.

    Comment by Logical Extremes — 25 Feb 2011 @ 0:05

  6. Omniture is a web analytics system that a ton of websites use. It’s essentially outsourcing of reporting. If I run mycoolshoppingsite.com, I pay Omniture then put tracking scripts on my site that let me register events with Omniture. (Customer X viewed a product page for product Y. Customer X added Product Y to his shopping cart. Customer X viewed the checkout form. Customer X checked out.)

    Then I can go to Omniture’s website and view a lot of different reports about user behavior on my site. (Do we have a lot of people adding items to their cart, pulling up the checkout form, but not checking out? Maybe there’s something wrong with the checkout form.)

    I certainly wouldn’t say this with 100% certainty, but I don’t think that Omniture is doing anything in aggregate with all the data they’re given. Really that data belongs to the website operator that is paying Omniture for this service, and it would jeopardize Omniture’s relationship with its customers (website operators) if it shared that data. (If I’m Amazon.com, why would I pay Omniture if they’re going to share my customer information with Barnes and Noble?) Also, even though mycoolshoppingsite.com told Omniture that this was activity for customer X, Omniture doesn’t know who customer X is.

    Comment by Ryan O. — 25 Feb 2011 @ 3:38

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