Google Adds Controls to Dial Back Ad Tracking

Jon Krafcik, group product manager for data privacy and transparency at Google:

Let’s say you’ve walked through one too many puddles of icy slush this winter, and you finally need to replace your snow boots.

You visit Snow Boot Co.’s website, add a pair of boots to your shopping cart, but you don’t buy them because you want to keep looking around. The next time that you’re shopping online, Snow Boot Co. might show you ads that encourage you to come back to their site and buy those boots.

Reminder ads like these can be useful, but if you aren’t shopping for Snow Boot Co.’s boots anymore, then you don’t need a reminder about them. A new control within Ads Settings will enable you to mute Snow Boot Co.’s reminder ads. Today, we’re rolling out the ability to mute the reminder ads in apps and on websites that partner with us to show ads.

Krafcik can’t come out and say it, but the problem with ads that track you like this isn’t that they may not be useful, but that they’re creepy AF, as the kids would say. Exposing controls to mute them is better than nothing, but it’s sort of like being able to tell someone who is following you around to stop talking to you, but they’re still going to follow you around.

Thursday, 25 January 2018