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Auditing, measuring, and bringing transparency to targeted advertising ecosystems

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Thèse "Auditing, measuring, and bringing transparency to targeted advertising ecosystems" par Athanasios ANDREOU, lors de la journée Futur & Ruptures du 31 janvier 2019. Une journée scientifique pour présenter l’ensemble des travaux de thèses aboutis portant sur des thématiques prospectives du programme de l’IMT.

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Auditing, measuring, and bringing transparency to targeted advertising ecosystems

  1. 1. AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS ATHANASIOS ANDREOU
  2. 2. NEED FOR TRANSPARENCY IN TARGETED ADVERTISING AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 2 o Targeted advertising is prevalent: • Facebook's ad revenue in 2016: 27B$ (Source: statista.com) oVery frequently black boxes oUse users' personal data at a massive scale oHave social and political impact: We focus on transparency in targeted advertising oTransparency on how these systems work is important oReflected in legislation (GDPR)
  3. 3. 1. TARGETED ADVERTISING IN FACEBOOK 2. AUDITING FACEBOOK TRANSPARENCY MECHANISMS (NDSS2018) 3. MEASURING THE FACEBOOK ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEM (NDSS2019) 4. BRINGING COLLABORATIVE TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING 5. ADANALYST- A TOOL TO HELP USERS MAKE SENSE OF THEIR ADS THIS TALK
  4. 4. TARGETED ADVERTISING IN FACEBOOK
  5. 5. TARGETED ADVERTISING IN FACEBOOK AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 5 Why am I seeing this ad?
  6. 6. HOW ADVERTISERS TARGET USERS AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 6
  7. 7. MANY ATTRIBUTES AVAILABLE FOR TARGETING AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 7
  8. 8. EVEN MORE TARGETING TYPES AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 8
  9. 9. FACEBOOK HAS EXPLANATIONS AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 9
  10. 10. FACEBOOK HAS EXPLANATIONS AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 10
  11. 11. AUDITING FACEBOOK TRANSPARENCY MECHANISMS (NDSS2018)
  12. 12. DESIRED PROPERTIES OF EXPLANATIONS AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 12 oDo explanations show all the attributes? • Completeness oAre they correct? • Correctness oAre they personalized? • Personalization oDo similar ads show similar explanations? • Determinism oAre explanations for users consistent? • Consistency
  13. 13. EXPERIMENTS AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 13 oBrowser extension to collect ads from Facebook timeline • 35 users for 5 months • 26K unique ads and explanations oControlled experiments targeting users with ads • We targeted users • We collected explanations • 96 successful experiments Ground truth
  14. 14. EXAMPLE OF EXPLANATIONS AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 14
  15. 15. EVALUATION AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 15 o Are explanantions complete?: • 61 Controlled experiments (e.g. target users interested in Instant messaging AND Mobile Phones) • Only one attribute appears in the explanation (e.g. Instant messaging) oWhich attribute appears? • Depends on attribute type (e.g. Demographics>Interests>Behaviors) • Depends on audience size (least unique attribute appears) oExplanations are incomplete o Incomplete explanations: • malicious advertiser can conceal sensitive/discriminatory attributes • by adding a common popular attribute to the targeting audience Establishing properties can help create better explanations
  16. 16. MEASURING THE FACEBOOK ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEM (NDSS2019)
  17. 17. AIMS AND DATASETS AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 17 oQuestions: • Who are the advertisers? • How are they targeting users? o Dataset: • More than 600 users, 200K ads, 40K advertisers • Across the globe
  18. 18. RESULTS AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 18 oWho are the advertisers? • ~10% from sensitive categories such as News and Politics, Finance, Medical Health... • 38.9% of ads come from unverified advertisers o How are they targeting users? • 21% of ads use Data Brokers, PII-based and Lookalike Audiences • North America vs Europe (e.g. for PII-based 6 vs 2%) • Advertisers from News and Politics tailor their ads over time, users and attributes Need for extra transparency!
  19. 19. BRINGING COLLABORATIVE TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING
  20. 20. IDEA: COLLABORATIVE TRANSPARENCY AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 20 o Group users that received the same ad together o Infer targeting from group properties of users that received the same ad: • which attributes do users that received the same ad share? • how can we use them?
  21. 21. ADANALYST- A TOOL TO HELP USERS MAKE SENSE OF THEIR ADS
  22. 22. ADANALYST AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 22 ohttps://adanalyst.mpi-sws.org o Enhance transparency by aggregated statistics o Who else received this ad? Disable adblockers and anti-tracking! Set Facebook in French or English!
  23. 23. CONCLUSION AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 23 o We audited Facebook transparency mechanisms and identified weaknesses o We show how are advertisers targeting users and found concerning practices o We bring more transparency to users in a collaborative way o We provide users with a tool that helps them make sense of their ads
  24. 24. THE END AUDITING, MEASURING, AND BRINGING TRANSPARENCY TO TARGETED ADVERTISING ECOSYSTEMS 24 Questions?

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