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Privacy, ‘no cookies’, new Google ‘interest-based advertising’ (opt out) March 14, 2009

Posted by ClustrMaps Team in News.
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[UPDATE: See posting of 27th March 2009 about new privacy/cookie wording]

SUMMARY: we have initially opted out of the new ‘interest-based advertising’ which means we can adhere to our ‘no cookies’ policy while we study the implications.

DETAILS:

ClustrMaps deploys Google AdSense ads that you see (for free ClustrMaps accounts) near our big world maps – these are typically appropriate targeted ads, and great for helping us to pay our bills! We have a great relationship with the AdSense team, and just wanted to let our users know that we received an email from Google AdSense informing us about their new ‘interest-based advertising’ tools. Although we think this has great potential, we are studying the implications first, before we decide whether or not to deploy it.

The idea is that ads could be displayed based on user’s perceived interests (e.g. ‘gardening enthusiast’), which would require collection of anonymous information through the setting of cookies. Since we do not (by default) use cookies on any of our pages, we have decided to opt out of this while we study the policy and its implications, : in other words in our own account settings we have selected ‘Do not show ads based on user interest categories.’

We will be updating our privacy policy anyway over the next few weeks to be clearer about the use of advertising and possible cookies that may appear indirectly (e.g. if an ad is clicked upon), and in the meantime just wanted to let users know about the current state of our thinking.

So, in a nutshell, ‘no cookies, no spyware’ is still the default situation for all of our own pages and our thumbnail map/widget. If this ever changes, we will of course post the relevant information here on this news/blog and also on our privacy page.

See our earlier postings about ‘No cookies, no spyware: guaranteed!’ and ‘No popus either!’.

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Comments»

1. Jim - March 15, 2009

You might direct users to the site below, which will opt them out of behavioural tracking across ALL of the ad networks, not just Google.

http://www.privacychoice.net

These things aren’t black and white — some people don’t mind a bit, others care a lot. The important thing is to have EASY choices!

ClustrMaps Team - March 16, 2009

Thanks, Jim – it’s a difficult tradeoff for us, because the income is important, but we want to respect users’ own privacy needs.


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