Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Opting Out of Online Tracking

Although advertisers use cookies, beacons, and other techniques to gather information so they can target messages to the audience's specific interests and behaviors, the idea that we're being followed around the Web electronically can be disconcerting. Privacy? Not online.

In the interest of transparency--and in the wake of a growing backlash--marketers and agencies are finally telling consumers more explicitly and prominently about how they can opt out of tracking. These systems aren't perfect, but they're a good start to helping consumers regain trust that truly private details might remain, well, private.
  • The Network Advertising Initiative invites consumers to opt out of cookies (see above graphic).
  • Yahoo recently discussed its privacy policies and opt-out options for consumers.
  • Rapleaf offers consumers a way to see what's been collected about them and opt out if they choose.
  • Google explains the data it collects for ad targeting, and offers opt-out choices for consumers who don't want to be tracked.

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