Thursday, August 07, 2008

DoubleClick & Google Content Network Opt-Out Cookie

Announcement from Google that they will enhance ad targeting through DoubleClick cookie comes with the ability to opt-out of that cookie across both networks. Follow the link to opt out of Google DoubleClick ad serving behavioral tracking. If you want to "See more relevant ads" I suggest paying attention to PPC ads in the Google search results. That is as relevant as I need, thank you.

Here is a basic video from Google about cookies.

There are more of these videos at the cookie opt-out page which do a credible job of explaining cookies, but make them seem a bit more innocuous than they are. As both a web enthusiast and a privacy advocate, I have accepted that cookies are a necessary evil - but don't agree with behavioral targeting when done across multiple sites.

I written multiple articles, most of them years ago about privacy issues, but things have evolved and become far more complex. I've accepted that few people care about privacy issues until they are personally affected in some way by some form of privacy invasion in financial, medical privacy or suffer some form of hacking, social engineering, job loss, embarrassment or suffer from some type of either real-world or cyber stalking incident.

Some privacy advocates go too far in agitating for change and that does the cause no good at all. But perhaps this small opt-out cookie to keep your web travels out of the hands of DoubleClick will contribute to a bit of digital privacy for those who do care.

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Ask Eraser To Erase Search History To Launch Ask Eraser To Erase Search History & New Data Retention Policy. This is an excellent coverage by Search Engine Land of the newly announced Ask Privacy Initiative with the cute name. It appears that with the "Me Too!" announcement by Microsoft they will honor privacy concerns of users by anonymizing data after 18 months (as Google already has), that pressure is building on the search engines to offer privacy as a feature to lure new searchers.

According to Wired Magazine, Yahoo is now doing the "Me Too!" dance with this statement:

"We have decided on 13 month policy because we believe it is consistent with our commitment to our users' privacy and consistent with local data protection laws across the world," said Yahoo spokesman Jim Cullinan in a written statement.
Of all the hand waving and foot stomping, Ask really does appear to have the strongest privacy intentions. We'll see when all the noise dies down who does privacy best and who offers the most search privacy.

Meanwhile, if you want to stay on top of the news about search privacy, may I suggest you consider trying our Google Co-op powered Privacy Search Engine

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