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Google AdSense Asks Publishers to Change Their Websites' Privacy Policy

I received an e-mail from Google Adsense about its new interest-based advertising feature.

The latest feature of Google AdSense allows Google to track the behavior of users who click on ads on their AdSense network. It also allows Google users to 'select' their interests — this way they would view advertisements based on their category of interest. Depending on the history of clicks on advertisements by the users and the selected interests, it could more accurately deliver future ads anywhere on its AdSense search and content network.

In order to do this, it requires to place a cookie in the computer of the user. Therefore, Google AdSense now requires publishers to change their website's privacy policy.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you think it's fair that a large company has the power to enforce privacy policy changes for an independent publishing website? We've often seen and heard how Google has dominated the way the internet is governed. It seems to me that this feature could have drastic implications in the long run for AdSense publishers. What do you think?

By Dhaval Doshi, Founder
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Related topics: Internet Governance, Privacy, Web
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Run away! The Googlebot comes for your soul! Peter Stolmar  –  Mar 14, 2009 12:12 PM PDT

I have done a bit of research on this, and I am appalled - what AdSense is doing to publishers and web surfers without any real consent is awful. They are washing their hands of any possible issues, and sinking to the lowest sleazy, spammy level with the invasive DoubleClick DART cookie (- make sure you have the "anti-cookie cookie" by April 8).

There's enough "made for AdSense" sites out there already, but I found that now Google might even add popup and popunder ads!

AdSense Privacy 2 - Google PopUp?

Everybody run for your privacy - I've already stopped using AdSense on my site because I disagree with these techniques - especially considering if I did any of these things (popups, 1x1 pixel tracking link) on my own, my site would be banned from AdSense within days. Google: please stop using Black Hat Spammer techniques, nobody likes sites made for ads or popups. And nobody wants a "perma-cookie" - try to make search that works and maybe you won't need cookies to figure out what's "relevant".

Publishers, remember the alternatives. There are many good ad networks, especially the simple ones that allow only text ads and the publisher picks what is "relevant". Let Google know this doesn't fly - use another search engine, other ads, another browser, return your Android, whatever it takes.

Stop the Robotization of the 'net!

Pop-up ads and Google don't go together - this could be deadly for Google Dhaval Doshi  –  Mar 22, 2009 4:30 AM PDT

Google Adsense Pop-up ads could be a disaster for the company. I would surely opt out if that happens.

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