NEWS1 July 2016

Google adds tools allowing users to see online activity tracking

News North America Privacy

US — Google has unveiled new tools that allow users to see what its ad tracking service has learned about them from their online activity. 

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According to a story on the Guardian, the latest addition to Google’s account settings – My Activity – allows users to review everything that Google has tracked about their behaviour, across all offers, including search, YouTube, Chrome and Android. Users can then edit or delete this information at each step. 

These new tools also come with new ad preferences. While Google currently uses tracking information to tailor ads across its own services, which users can opt out of, it is now intending to use behavioural information to tailor ads shown across the wider internet and its own search pages, which previously was done using cookies. This is being made an opt-in service, however, so a user won't be enrolled in the new ad targeting unless they actively select to enable it.

As a result, there are now two separate behavioural advert settings for users to opt in or out of: signed in ads (on Google services), and signed out ads (served by Google on third party sites). 

The new tools and controls are being rolled out now, but not everyone will have immediate access,