The Click That Gives You Control Over Online Ads
North American Precis Syndicate
A tiny blue triangle in online ads can offer more information on the ad and help control the types of ads you see. (NAPS)
(NAPSI)—If you use the Internet through a computer or mobile device,
you may wonder why you see certain ads. For example, why do you get an ad
offering a discount on a new camera after you visit a camera review site or
one for hotels as soon as you start planning a trip?
In some ways, the process is similar to the customized paper coupons you
get when you check out at the grocery store. In both cases, computers make
predictions about the types of promotions that might interest certain groups
of customers, such as a toothbrush offer for people buying toothpaste, and
those promotions or ads are shown to the people most likely to be interested
In the case of online advertising, some of the predictions are based on
data collected from websites or apps that help identify interests for those
users, such as sports, movies, cameras or travel. That type of advertising is
called "interest-based advertising," or IBA for short.
Most people find that type of advertising relevant and helpful and it
provides a tremendous value as IBA and other digital advertising help fund
the thousands of free websites, services and apps that people use every day,
including e-mail, news, videos, social media, photos, maps and search.
In fact, a recent study found that Americans assign a value of nearly
$1,200 per year to the free ad-supported services and content available to
them on their computers and mobile devices. A study also showed that users
click on interest-based ads twice as often as regular ads.
For people who would prefer not to get IBA ads, however, there's a simple
trick that gives you control over the types of online ads you see: Click the
In the corner of nearly every IBA ad, you should see a little blue
triangle, sometimes along with the words "AdChoices" or "Your
AdChoices." That triangle is the YourAdChoices icon and it's the gateway
to trustworthy information and control over digital ads.
Clicking on the icon will tell you more about the companies that brought
you the ad on which it appeared and offers a way to turn off those companies'
and their ad partners' ability to collect and use data for IBA advertising to
you in future.
In addition, if you want to learn more or control your preferences for
hundreds of companies at once, you can go to YourAdChoices.com, which serves as a
kind of control panel for responsible companies engaged in IBA.
At that site, you can access a tool that performs a quick system check and
shows you which companies are currently customizing ads for your browser.
With a few clicks, you can opt out of receiving IBA ads from any of those
companies or all of them at once.
As online activities move to mobile devices such as cell phones, there are
also tools for the mobile world. You can set your mobile ad preferences in
mobile browsers via the website and download the "AppChoices" app
through YourAdChoices.com or any
major app store, so you have information about and control over IBAs in apps,
Run by the Digital Advertising Alliance, a nonprofit self-regulatory
program created and supported by the advertising industry, the YourAdChoices
program has given millions of people the tools to control their online
advertising experiences, while increasing their confidence in the advertisers
who display the icon.
On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)