ISP backs off of behavioral ad plan

Charter Communications, one of the largest providers of cable-based broadband service in the U.S., has backed off of a plan to insert advertisements onto Web pages based on its users’ Web-surfing habits after privacy advocates called the program an “attack on users.”

Charter said Tuesday it has suspended a pilot program to use NebuAd, a behavioral advertising vendor, to track its users’ Web-surfing habits and deliver advertising based on that information. Charter’s decision comes less than a week after two digital rights groups, Public Knowledge and Free Press, accused NebuAd and participating broadband service providers of using security exploits to spy on users.

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