Google has launched a revamped ad settings page, with an aim to help users understand and control how ads that target them. It’s the latest privacy-focused move from the search giant in light of increasing concerns over how major corporations handle user data.
For the past decade, Google has made strides to be more transparent in how personal data is used to tailor ads. In 2009, Google released Ad Settings, giving users a defined location to control ads. The settings evolved in 2011 and 2012 with the additions of Why this ad? And Mute this ad. In 2015, all of these features were housed together within your Google account, creating a single point of access for security setting and personal information.
How it works
To accessing your settings, click on Google homepage and toggle to the top right of the screen. Locate and click on your initial enclosed in a circle. Once your initial is selected, click “My Account”
On the My Account page, click on Ad Settings
Once you are in your Ad Settings, click Manage Ad Settings. From there, you can choose whether you want ad personalisation on or off. You can also view the personal details Google has about you, and choose whether or not to allow Google to customise ads based on each characteristic.
You can opt to disable ad personalisation using simple toggle, while clicking the More Options link exposes a further option: “Also use your activity and information from Google services to personalise ads on websites and apps that partner with Google to show ads. This stores data from websites and apps that partner with Google in your Google Account.”
With this, You can also use the Ad Settings page to see what data Google bases its ad decisions on — the interests you have expressed, the websites you visit and so on. If you notice that any of these are wide of the mark, or you’d rather certain pieces of data weren’t used for ad targeting, you can disable individual items.
When you turn off all Ad Personalisation, Google says you’ll still see ads but that they may be less useful to you; users will also no longer be able to turn off ads from specific advertisers, and finally, any advertisers or interests users have turned off won’t be saved. Google will still show you ads based on general factors such as the subject of what you’re looking at or the time of the day, or any other factor that is still turned on in the Ad Settings.
“Turning off a factor means you’ll no longer receive tailored ads related to it across our services, and on websites and apps that partner with us to show ads, as long as you’re signed in to your Google Account,” Google Product Manager Philippe de Lurand Pierre-Paul said in a blog post.
With Google’s new Ad Settings, you can now understand how your personal information is used in the ads you see. Additionally, Google is expanding the Why this ad? function to all services–including Search and YouTube–and all sites and apps that allow Google to show ads, the post noted.