McAfee.com unveils new online advertising technology

Indian Wells, Feb 8 (PRNewswire-AsiaNet) - McAfee.com (Nasdaq: MCAF), the leading global consumer Application Service Provider (ASP) of online PC security and management services, Monday unveiled a revolutionary new advertising technology code-named Silhouette that provides online advertisers with the ability to deliver highly targeted, rules-based online advertising to PCs while ensuring complete consumer privacy.

Indian Wells, Feb 8 (PRNewswire-AsiaNet) - McAfee.com (Nasdaq: MCAF), the leading global consumer Application Service Provider (ASP) of online PC security and management services, Monday unveiled a revolutionary new advertising technology code-named Silhouette that provides online advertisers with the ability to deliver highly targeted, rules-based online advertising to PCs while ensuring complete consumer privacy.

The new technology was previewed today at Demo 2000. McAfee.com's Silhouette is designed to be one of the Internet's first advertising technologies that bridges the gap between the consumer's concern about privacy and the advertiser's need for improved targeting and profiling.

The targeting capabilities in Silhouette are based on hardware and software profiles of the user's computer that are dynamically generated, stored and processed on the user's PC. The privacy-enabled architecture of Silhouette ensures that the only information transmitted from the user's PC is an advertising campaign ID, that no information about the individual or the individual's computer ever leaves the user's PC and that the advertising server cannot build a profile of the user based on advertisements served.

This patent-pending Silhouette technology consists of four components:

  1. The Personal Advertising Profile (PAP) -- a secure and encrypted digital profile of the users PC created by the Silhouette service. The Personal Advertising Profile always resides on the users PC, is never transmitted outside the PC and is inaccessible to anyone outside the users PC. Support for user-initiated profile additions to the PAP are planned for in future releases.
  2. Rules -- A high-level language that allows advertisers to specify rules for delivering appropriate advertisements based on system configuration information. For example, a rule to serve up advertisements for a Windows 2000 upgrade might be dependent on certain criteria like operating system type, current memory, disk space and PC type.
  3. The Rules Engine -- a component of Silhouette that securely and anonymously processes the applicable rules against the users Personal Advertising Profile on the user's PC. Appropriate advertising tags or campaign Ids are generated for successfully resolved rules.
  4. Silhouette Controls -- a set of active controls that display Silhouette generated advertisements on web sites. These active controls are securely and seamlessly integrated with the Silhouette service to provide consumers an intuitive, yet secure web experience. "Until now, the online advertiser had to play a zero-sum game when it came to consumers. The more one targets advertising at the consumer, the more privacy-invasive it becomes," said Srivats Sampath, President and CEO of McAfee.com. "As an Internet security and privacy-focused company, we are bringing our domain expertise in this area to solve this very important issue.

The Silhouette technology represents a big step in taking Internet advertising to the next level." McAfee.com plans to integrate the Silhouette technology into the website and current and future services like the McAfee Clinic and the recently announced McAfee Personal Firewall Service.

McAfee.com also plans to license the technology to other advertising-centric Internet businesses.

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