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How to opt-out of Google's targeted ads
Thread poster: Claudia Alvis

Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 05:46
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
Mar 17, 2009

In order to efficiently target their ads based on each user's search habits, Google keeps track of every search submitted. Even with Firefox's AdBlock Plus (one of the best FF's add-ins), Google still keeps our search records in their servers. I don't know if there's a way to completely avoid this (my guess is no), but at least Google offers a way to opt-put from their targeted ads. From Lifehacker:
Opt Out of Google's Targeted Ads

Google recently announced an ad-targeting system that tracks where you go on the web, and tailors future ads to your interests. Creeped out? You've got a few ways out of the observation tank.

While the Electronic Frontier Foundation explains, pretty wisely, that the smartest move would have been to let Google's many users opt in to supposedly "better" ads, market forces mean that's just not going to happen. Still, Google does explain how it works, and gives you a preference, and a browser plug-in, that can keep behavior-snooping bots at bay.

Log into your Google account and mozy over to the Google Ads Preferences page, where you can hit an Opt Out button to put a cookie (identified and detailed) on your system that blocks ad monitoring and targeting. The downside, though, is that any time you wipe out your cookies (a pretty common move, especially amongst the privacy-conscious), that preference washes out with them. So Google also offers a Opt-Out Preferences plug-in for Internet Explorer and Firefox that auto-kills ad targeting. Good for those who use those two leaders of the market; kinda annoying for everyone else.
(more)


So basically Google offers two ways to op-out from these ads: using a preferences cookie (temporal solution) and installing a plug-in in Firefox and IE. It's not a perfect solution but it's something. The Preferences and Plug-in can be found here: Advertising Cookie Opt-out Plugin.

Edit: I just noticed that the link has additional instructions for Chrome and Safari.

[Edited at 2009-03-17 16:41 GMT]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:46
Member (2002)
German to English
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Let's hope that Proz.com will opt out soon, then Mar 17, 2009

Certainly a lot of the ads appearing on this site when visitors browse it are by no means appropriate, so it would be great if you could submit a support ticket and inform Proz.com staff of this opportunity to opt out of these strange ads.

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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 05:46
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
That's a different animal Mar 17, 2009

That is a totally different thing, unfortunately.

The plug-in is for targeted ads that WE see on the Google website every time we submit a search, it's called Google Ads. ProZ uses Ad Words to display Google's ads on ProZ.com to the visitors. Since filtering certain keywords seems to be completely useless, the only way to "opt-out" would be if ProZ decides to cancel Ad Words completely.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:46
Member (2008)
Italian to English
excellent Mar 17, 2009

CLaudia, that's excellent - thanks very much

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tectranslate ITS GmbH
Local time: 12:46
German
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Add-ons Mar 18, 2009

Thanks for the link to the Add-on, Claudia.

While we're on the topic of cookies, here's a great Firefox Add-on I've discovered during my travels through the vast and infinite 'net:
http://mfe.gorgias.de/#pcookies

It's called Permit Cookies and allows you to control whether you want to store a site's cookies for the current session only, store them permanently, block them or delete any existing cookies you have received from that site.

If you disable cookies in Tools->Options->Privacy and only permit cookies from sites you trust, you will have full control without having to manage the long exception lists of the default cookie feature in Firefox.

Let it be noted, though, that some sites such as eBay, ProZ.com, various forums etc. make extensive use of cookies and will not properly without them, so you'll have to "teach" Firefox to discriminate between sites. But again, that has never been easier than with this Add-on.

When you visit the link given above, you might also want to look into installing the Add Bookmark Here Add-on:
http://mfe.gorgias.de/#abhere

Very nifty.

All the best,

Benjamin


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 05:46
Partial member
Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Permit Cookies Mar 18, 2009

Thank you Benjamin,

I'll give Permit Cookies a try. Nice link by the way.

Claudia


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