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This article was published on January 24, 2011

Google launches tool to keep you opted out of personalized ads on the Web

Google launches tool to keep you opted out of personalized ads on the Web
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

Browser cookies that track your Web history and serve up suitable ads are big business, although understandably, some people see them as an invasion of their privacy. Now Google has launched a tool that lets users permanently opt out of all ad personalization, wherever the option is available.

Keep My Opt Outs is a Google Chrome extension that is being introduced as a response to a problem with existing opt-out programs – they’re reset whenever you delete your cookies. By running permanently within the browser, not as a cookie, you’re opted out permanently.

If you install the extension, Google warns, ads may get a little repetitive around the Web as you’re served non-personalized defaults in some cases. “You may see the same ads repeatedly on particular websites, or see ads that are less relevant to you.” Google also points out that non-personalized ads are less valuable to Web publishers in some cases and “may result in less profitable ads for your favorite websites.”

Although only available for Chrome right now, Google says it will make Keep My Opt Outs available for more browsers in future and it has open sourced the plugin for other developers to improve in future.