Monday, May 25, 2009

Tracking and Targeting Ad Cookie Opt Out

One of the things we do when we install a new PC is to install opt out cookies for as many tracking and targeting sites we can for both the local administrator and the network administrator accounts. We also encourage our clients to opt out of the advertising sites, however have not yet found a way to handle this through a method such as Group Policy (which would be ideal).

The three main sites we do this through are as follows:

DoubleClick - even though they are a member of the Network Advertising Initiative, the NAI opt-out tool doesn't include DoubleClick.

Network Advertising Initiative - a cooperative of online marketing and analytics companies, a large number of whom can be opted out from by using this tool. I use this so that I can see which sites have been successfully opted out of.

Privacy Choice - offers two different options for opt-out cookies - a comprehensive one, and a secondary one that targets only those companies with lax policies around the collection and use of data. Unfortunately, it just reports a number of successful opt-outs, not a list of the sites themselves.

Not all advertising and data collection sites offer opt-out cookies. For a decent, but likely only partial list of such sites, have a a look at the Privacy Choice Hall Of Shame.

Remember that these opt-out cookies will not stop you from receiving advertisements, but they will stop the collection of personal information by these advertisers and its use to target advertisements to you by tracking you through multiple sites.


The Outspoken Wookie

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