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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posted by RealitySEO at 7:38 AM 0 comments

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Google on International Internet Privacy Standards

Google Calls for International Standards on Internet Privacy and has taken some lumps from privacy advocates which may not be justifiable - YET. The linked Washington post article above quotes comments from Google's global privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer where he makes a case for a standards body to set and enforce privacy rules internationally.

Not a bad idea, especially if European standards are incorporated into that mix. But the fact is that Google is very likely to be making this call for international privacy standards simply to deflect concerns about their DoubleClick acquisition when a decision is made by the FTC.

I recently ran across the video below at the VortexDNA Blog. It is a whiteboard discussion of Google Privacy Policy by senior search engineer Maile Ohye - which makes no direct mention of major public concerns - but somehow manages to calm fears - even if you are a bit sceptical of the safety or your private information under current Google privacy practices.

All I can say to this issue is that Google has proven themselves trustworthy so far and has suffered no major data losses or privacy gaffes. This call for international privacy standards from Google appears at a time when they are under scrutiny for the DoubleClick acquisition and after Ask announced the "Ask Eraser" product which will allow any user to completely wipe out their search history and delete all information already gathered and opt out of future data gathering by Ask. Google and all other search engines should consider adopting the Ask Eraser model. Although right now it is all talk and little action by Ask as it is simply a promised product and not a reality.

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posted by RealitySEO at 7:58 PM 0 comments