How To Opt Out Of Google's New Targeted Ads

Last week, Google introduced its new “interest based” ads, which is based on tracking your browsing activity and targeting ads based on that behavior. Fortunately, there are several ways to opt out.

There are obvious privacy issues that pop up when a company tracks your web history; it’s also annoying and creepy. Fortunately, Google has implemented targeted ads in a relatively benign way, working with privacy groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation to make avoiding these ads pretty easy. As EFF points out, the best way to do this would be to require users to opt in to targeted ads, rather than opt out. That’s not gonna happen though, so here’s what you can do:

  • You can use Google’s Ad Preferences tool to take certain behaviors and interests out of its targeting. This would come in handy if, for instance, you ignored Chris’s warnings and looked up what his grape soda post was about, and you’re now receiving really discomforting ads.
  • You can also opt out of targeted ads altogether, although these preferences will be lost if you regularly delete your cookies.
  • Instead, Google developed an opt out plugin, which will keep you opted out of its targeted ads even if you clear your cookies. Fancy!

Google Begins Behavioral Targeting Ad Program [EFF]
(Photo: msmail)