Yahoo to offer customized ad opt out

Yahoo said it will start letting site visitors opt out of receiving customized advertising.

Yahoo said it will start letting users opt out of receiving customized advertising later this month, in an announcement the company made along with its response to a congressional inquiry about online privacy practices.

On August 1, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce asked 33 companies to answer a series of questions regarding their privacy policies related to customized advertising practices. The companies were asked to respond by Friday. While Yahoo released its response, companies sometimes ask such congressional committees to keep their answers private.

By the end of August, users will be able to visit Yahoo's privacy center and choose to opt out of customized advertising, Yahoo said. Yahoo's privacy center is linked from almost every page of the company's Web sites, it said.

Currently, Yahoo lets people opt out of receiving customized ads on its partner sites, but not on its own Yahoo.com pages. To opt out of those ads on partner sites, Yahoo directs users to the Network Advertising Initiative page, a single site where Internet users can opt out of receiving advertising cookies from many companies including Google.

The congressional committee said in its letter that it is investigating privacy concerns related to data collection practices of services that tailor advertising based on users' Web surfing. Internet advertisers are delivering such tailored ads in an effort to better encourage users to click on ads. Search and advertising companies often leave a cookie on end users' browsers with information about the users' recent online activity. That allows the company to present ads related to the recent activity in hopes of interesting the user. Some privacy advocates are concerned about exactly what type of data the companies are collecting and how else they might use the data.

Yahoo won't be the only search and advertising provider with a customized search opt-out mechanism. On its privacy center, Google lets users opt out of receiving cookies that would help Google deliver customized advertising.

In addition to members of Congress, end users are also clearly interested in the privacy issue. For the month of July, around 75,000 people visited the opt-out page of Yahoo's privacy center, the company said in its letter. Yahoo said it is not able to count how many people have opted out because it only knows that people do so when its advertising system sees cookies on users' browsers.

Also, after receiving pressure from privacy groups, Google only last month added a link on its home page to its privacy practices.

Google, AOL and Microsoft did not immediately respond to queries about their responses to the congressional inquiry. Other companies that also received the request include AT&T, Time Warner Cable, Qwest, EarthLink, Level 3, Verizon, XO Communications and Covad.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?