Senate hearing on NebuAd, privacy set for tomorrow

On the eve of a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing on the privacy issues raised by online advertising, yet another cable company has pulled back from using NebuAd to track its customers. Wide Open West, a Denver-based cable provider that's been using the NebuAd since March, is ending its test of the controversial software.

Tomorrow's hearing on the Hill will give critics, who say the software and others like it violate wiretap laws because it allows carriers to track customers' communications, an opportunity to publicly air their grievances.

Cable companies and telcos say they need software like NebuAd-and it's British comrade-in-arms, Phorm-to help them develop targeted advertising for subgroups of Internet and television service users. The ad dollars, they say, are critical to their growth. Check out this Wall Street Journal story for a different look at the controversy.