No, I'm not talking about shutter release, I got this in an email yesterday. I'd like visitor comments on the matter so please do.
We're writing to let you know about the upcoming launch of interest-based advertising, which will require you to review and make any necessary changes to your site's privacy policies. You'll also see some new options on your Account Settings page.
Interest-based advertising will allow advertisers to show ads based on a user's previous interactions with them, such as visits to advertiser website and also to reach users based on their interests (e.g. "sports enthusiast"). To develop interest categories, we will recognize the types of web pages users visit throughout the Google content network. As an example, if they visit a number of sports pages, we will add them to the "sports enthusiast" interest category. To learn more about your associated account settings, please visit the AdSense Help Center at http://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/topic.py?topic=20310.
For more information about interest-based advertising, you can also visit the Inside AdSense Blog at http://adsense.blogspot.com/2009/03/driving-monetization-with-ads-that.html.
We appreciate your participation and look forward to this upcoming enhancement.
The Google AdSense Team
I've never given much thought about the site visitors privacy as the content based advertising was based on what I wrote on the blog and not on any data based on the visitor. However this new cookie based "interest advertising" has has me thinking. There are two reasons I'm against it.
The first reason is the visitor's privacy. Google is tracking your web browsing by recording the advertising spots you click on and storing this information in a cookie on your computer. It's not as bad as storing information about the type of sites you visit which I'd be totally against. Where I go and what I look at on the internet is nobodies business so long as no one is getting hurt or having their rights violated in anyway. However the DoubleClick DART cookie does track advertisements that you click on and they deliver ad content that fits your "interest" profile. I as a site owner can opt out of DoubleClick or you as a site visitor can opt out also.
The second reason is that ad content that I may not approve of may appear on my site based on the visitor's internet habits. There are advertisers that I'd rather not sponsor and with content based based advertising I can kind of keep that to a minimum. So long as I don't write articles about the subject matter I do not want to sponsor I have some control over the content of the ad spots.
So I'm in a dilemma. Do I drop Google ads and lose the little money I have earned over the last few months (I've a long way to go to my first check) or do I let Google track my visitors internet habits?
I'd like to hear your opinions on the matter so please post a comment.