Google’s Ad Network Keeps A Record Of Your History Even If You Don’t Want To
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Oh Google, why must you squander away the good faith you had won with the China move? Google has made public today an advertising plan known as “remarketing” that stores a history of all your visited sites in their ad network, allowing for ads to pop-up on any of the eligible sites targeted to you. In other words, if you visited product X’s site in the past, you could see an ad for it on completely unrelated web page Y.
Besides adding to the massive number of ads that already lie on the internet, this program raises some thorny questions. Mainly: is Google completely throwing out whatever shred of privacy they kept for their consumers? They already had a similar program in place called “interest-based advertising”. The difference is back then it was just categories and interests that were kept, and now it is specific individual websites that you have visited.
This is being called by some a major privacy risk. Lawmakers might decide to weigh in on whether or not the practice should be regulated. Till then, you can hope that opting out of the interest based ad service here will result in you being exempt from “remarketing”.