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Mozilla acquiring privacy-friendly advertising company Anonym

Mozilla has acquired Anonym, a company specialized in privacy-preserving digital advertising. The purpose of the acquisition is to revolutionize the current advertising business, which pays little attention to internet users’ privacy.

The current online advertising industry centers around collecting as much user data as possible. The data is then analyzed in order to create user profiles.

Next, this information is being sold to online advertisers. In turn, they use the data they required to place personalized ads in order to target their audience and bump up their revenues.

Little to no attention is presently being paid to user privacy, despite growing concerns from consumers and data protection agencies (DPAs).

Mozilla thinks the current data practices on the digital advertising market are “excessive and unsustainable”. The company therefore wants to reshape the digital landscape for advertisers, platforms and consumers.

According to Mozilla, privacy and digital advertising should go hand in hand. The company, known for developing Firefox and Thunderbird, says it’s not just a nice sales pitch, but actually wants to create a “more sustainable advertising ecosystem”.

Acquiring Anonym is the first step in realizing that.

“Amidst this moment of change, Anonym stands out for its unique privacy-preserving technology. By securely combining encrypted data sets from platforms and advertisers, Anonym enables scalable, privacy-safe measurement and optimization of advertiser campaigns, thereby leading a shift toward a more sustainable advertising ecosystem,” Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Laura Chambers says in a blog post.

Mozilla wants to use Anonym’s technology to boost both user privacy and advertising effectiveness. The user data Anonym collects is stored in a secure environment advertisers, publishers and Anonym can’t access on a user level. The data is then being anonymized and analyzed in order to measure campaign performance and protect user privacy.

Lastly, algorithms add ‘noise’ to the collected data to make sure information isn’t being traced back to individual users.

“While Anonym will continue to serve its customer base, together, we are poised to lead the industry toward a future where privacy and effective advertising go hand in hand, supporting a free and open internet,” Mozilla concludes.

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