THEMIS: A Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Ad Platform with Reporting Integrity [article]

Gonçalo Pestana, Iñigo Querejeta-Azurmendi, Panagiotis Papadopoulos, Benjamin Livshits
2021 arXiv   pre-print
Online advertising fuels the (seemingly) free internet. However, although users can access most of the web services free of charge, they pay a heavy coston their privacy. They are forced to trust third parties and intermediaries, who not only collect behavioral data but also absorb great amounts of ad revenues. Consequently, more and more users opt out from advertising by resorting to ad blockers, thus costing publishers millions of dollars in lost ad revenues. Albeit there are various
more » ... reserving advertising proposals (e.g.,Adnostic, Privad, Brave Ads) from both academia and industry, they all rely on centralized management that users have to blindly trust without being able to audit, while they also fail to guarantee the integrity of the per-formance analytics they provide to advertisers. In this paper, we design and deploy THEMIS, a novel, decentralized and privacy-by-design ad platform that requires zero trust by users. THEMIS (i) provides auditability to its participants, (ii) rewards users for viewing ads, and (iii) allows advertisers to verify the performance and billing reports of their ad campaigns. By leveraging smart contracts and zero-knowledge schemes, we implement a prototype of THEMIS and early performance evaluation results show that it can scale linearly on a multi sidechain setup while it supports more than 51M users on a single-sidechain.
arXiv:2106.01940v1 fatcat:oeb3kg3szrem7a6sl7x6isy6ou