August 08, 2008 |
Yahoo! has just informed subscribers to corporate newsletter of the newly available “privacy choice for consumers”. This basically means that from the end of August we will be able to opt-out of customized advertising on yahoo.com if we believe it invades our privacy.
Actually Yahoo! had an opt-out available to users even before today: users could opt out of customized ads served by Yahoo! on third-party networks.
Today’s announcement expands this approach further and comes as a part of Yahoo! response to a Congressional inquiry about customization of advertising sent to 33 companies, including Yahoo!. Until this decision a publisher serving Yahoo! ads was obliged to disclose customized advertising approach and allow the users to opt-out should they choose so in Yahoo privacy center. From the end of August the same will apply to Yahoo’s own properties at yahoo.com as well.
What the company stresses is that it is willing to offer users a choice: either we allow Yahoo! collect some information about our interests and serve us more relevant ads or we opt-out and see the standard (maybe annoying and 100% irrelevant at all) ads. This is now a matter of personal opinion so it depends on what’s more important to you: your privacy or the relevance of information served to you in ads and no matter what you think about it (and I tend to believe that Profy readers care about privacy more) I think this is a good move for Yahoo! anyway.
Ironically only yesterday we discussed Google’s new cookie that is also offered on opt-out basis for those users geeky enough to know such opt-out exists at all. Same must be equally true for Yahoo!’s opt-out option as well. At least for now Yahoo! reports that a total of 75,000 users visited its opt-out page in July (without any data on how many of them actually clicked the Opt-Out button) so I think it is evident that this is a only a tiny fraction of users compared to the total number of people exposed to ads served by Yahoo!.
But anyway those who are not aware that their privacy is invaded by Yahoo (or other ad networks at that) will keep their peace of mind while those few who care can visit Yahoo! Privacy center to opt their browsers out.