AdSense to track your interests, if you let it

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Google has long been suspected of having too much information on its users. From all the services it offers to its users (though its doubtful that any one person could possibly use all of them), to what they search for on the search engine. It has a tendency to scare some who highly value their privacy, though there’s no evidence Google would ever do anything with the information. It wouldn’t be surprising if those same people voice concern over the new AdSense program from Google.

AdSense will be seeing an upgrade in how it knows what users interests are. Right now it’s based on the website they visit at that particular time. The new program will store a separate cookie on computers and base the ads on that information. So, say you’re interested mainly in technology, not only would you see ads for computer and repair services on Gadgetell but also on a random sports site you might find yourself stumbling upon. Sounds like a better way to get money for those who have AdSense on their sites, not everybody is interested in the things they might show on every website.

These settings don’t have to be mandatory, though. Users can change what AdSense thinks is their interests by clicking the “Ads by Google” link once it actually rolls out so it doesn’t confuse you with someone else who might use your computer from time to time. Users and websites can also choose to opt-out of the new program all together if they’re too worried about the changes. Google promises that it won’t use information like search results, Gmail or other services in each person’s profile. If it’s just going to be a cookie, there’s a chance it might all be anonymous anyway. But, there’s no pleasing some people when it comes to potential privacy issues.

read [NY Times]

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