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Google Launches Keep My Opt-Outs Chrome Extension

Google Launches Its Own Do Not Track Mechanism

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Google has launched a new extension for its Chrome browser, called Keep My Opt-Outs. It is essentially a Do Not Track mechanism that lets users opt out from receiving personalized advertisements as they browse the web. 

"Recently, the Federal Trade Commission and others have expressed interest in a ‘Do Not Track’ mechanism that could offer users a simple way to opt out of personalized advertising," write Google product managers Sean Harvey and Rajas Moonka on the company’s Public Policy blog. "Advertising companies that are members of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) already let you opt out of tracking for the purposes of personalizing advertisements, and many online advertisers and trade associations have also joined a major self-regulatory effort to enforce a uniform privacy icon for ads, as well as opt-out guidelines."

Chrome Extension launched for Do Not Track50 companies including the top 15 ad networks offer opt outs in the U.S. 

The timing of the announcement is interesting, considering Mozilla just announced a proposal for a Do Not Track mechanism for Firefox, with the intention of having it adopted as an industry standard throughout the tech and advertising industries. 

"We’ve been working on addressing these issues for awhile," write Harvey and Moonka. "Nearly two years ago, we engineered a solution for Google’s ad system. We made available, for all major browsers, a downloadable browser plugin that enables you to permanently opt out of Google’s advertising cookie, even if you deleted all your browser’s cookies. We’ve also built granular cookie controls into Chrome directly, and integrated Adobe Flash Player storage management into these controls. We’ve also modified Chrome’s incognito mode to ensure that it applies to ‘Flash cookies’ in addition to regular cookies."

If you use Chrome, you can get the add-on here, but Google warns that using it will mean you are likely to get ads that are less relevant to you. 

Google is open sourcing the extension, and is working to make it available for other browsers.

Google Launches Keep My Opt-Outs Chrome Extension
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  • Anne

    Abine, Inc. released a Chrome add-on months ago that does more than Google’s new Keep My Opt-Outs. I’ve been using it for a while, and it has the added benefits of blocking not just cookies, but ad networks and trackers, as well as letting users choose what they want to opt out of. From my experiences with it, I can’t recommend it enough. Here’s a link to their site: http://bit.ly/gfOLNP

  • http://www.leonhunter.com Leon Hunter

    An awful lot of people still use Internet Explorer (believe it or not) especially in industries not related to the Internet or technology. What should these users do to address the problem of Google tracking? I am also missing some comment on the **ethics** side of the whole issue? Does it not worry anyone? What about the invasion of privacy? What if a husband is browsing to find dates and his wife or children get bombarded with dating site ads? What if a battered wife if browsing for counselling or help, and her husband (or someone else) sees the ads and reaches conclusions? What if an employee browsed for info on rehab clinics for an addiction problem (and deleted their browsing history) and were subsequently discovered because of the advertising showing up on their browser? The ethics implications are what people should be concerned about.

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