Print 17 comment(s) - last by jlazerus.. on Aug 10 at 8:53 PM

Search giant lets consumers receive generic advertising instead

Beginning at the end of August, Yahoo! users will be able to opt out of the company’s targeted, behavioral advertising system on both Yahoo! properties and third-party websites that use the company’s advertising network.

“Yahoo! strongly believes that consumers want choice when customizing their online experience and they have also demonstrated a strong preference for advertising that is more personally relevant to them,” said Yahoo! privacy head and policy VP Anne Toth in a press release. “However, we understand that there are some users who prefer not to receive customized advertising and this opt-out will offer them even greater choice.”

Users already have the ability of opting out of “customized” ads on and this new option will extend that choice to reflect websites outside the Yahoo! stable.

Yahoo! says it added the choice in response to an ongoing congressional inquiry into behavioral advertising – that is, tracking users around the internet in order to build an advertising profile from their activities – of which critics have raised privacy concerns.

Government regulators initially began their examination of targeted advertising once it became clear that ad networks were collecting staggering amounts of data on web surfers, in order to serve them relevant advertising. Some of this tracking included a record of partnered sites the user had visited, a fact that contributed to the U.S. government’s decision to step in.

An FTC summit into “ehavioral” advertising last November concluded with a dour warning to online advertisers: stop secretly tracking users, or else. Additional rules were suggested earlier this year; however, neither the FTC nor Congress has yet to enact any significant regulation on the matter.

Users who wish to opt out of Yahoo!’s targeted ad program can visit’s privacy center, which Yahoo! says is available at a link on the bottom of almost every page on the site. Despite this availability, however, the company reports that only 75,000 visit its privacy policy page last month, suggesting that only a small portion of visits will actually take the company up on its offer.

Yahoo’s letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee indicates that the opt-out option is cookie-based, so users will need to use the opt-out page each time they use a different computer, or clear their browser’s cookies.

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Selling and Sharing our Emails
By TechGuyCalifornia on 8/10/2008 12:23:42 AM , Rating: 3
Let me tell you, I have a account aka Yahoo and I know for a fact that they sell your damn email to everyone and anyone out there. I have a friend with a very strange nickname, he emailed me, later that week I received a spam email with his exact nickname in the subject of the damn email and it definitely wasn't from him. His nickname is so unique that only someone that would know us would know how to even spell it. I thought maybe it might be a fluke, but no. In addition, I receive so much f'in spam from Yahoo mail it is sick! I have been in the email world since the 80's, so I have the experience to avoid spam, but knowing that these big companies can breach your privacy so easily is not comforting at all. Opting out for this crap is a scam. Anyway, just my opinion...

By audiomaniaca on 8/10/2008 3:04:36 AM , Rating: 2
So do I! Not only email account names, but, something even more weird:

I watch videos on youtube (let's say "beatles"), then I immediately receive an email like this: "buy beatles, etc".

What the hell is going on? Could it be the connection provider?

"Intel is investing heavily (think gazillions of dollars and bazillions of engineering man hours) in resources to create an Intel host controllers spec in order to speed time to market of the USB 3.0 technology." -- Intel blogger Nick Knupffer
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