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Old 03-18-2009, 02:31 PM
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Default Important Changes to Google ads

THIS CONTAINS INFORMATION THAT MAY AFFECT YOU. PLEASE READ IT ALL THE WAY THROUGH.

Google has informed us that beginning April 8, they will be introducing interest-based advertising (IBA) into the ads they serve. A we carry Google ads on many pages, including Forum pages, we wanted to let you know how this might affect you.

Google's IBA relies on tracking where people go on the net to figure out what they might be interested in. For example, if you visit several sports-related sites and/or click on some sports-related ads, they'll probably start serving you more sports-related ads.

According to them, they'll be using tracking cookies and/or web beacons to accomplish this.

A cookie is a small text file that is set on your computer for various reasons. Our Forum uses a cookie to "remember" who you are and what page you are on as you move from board to board and messqage to message. Cookies cannot introduce viruses or install bad programs. They are just plain text you can easily view with any text editor.

A web beacon is a one-pixel, invisible GIF graphic file. It might be inlcuded in an email or on a web page so that when it is called, Google can tell the email has been opened or the page viewed. It cannot transfer any personal information since it is just a graphic like all the others on a web page.

BHM does not use web beacons, but we do use Google Analytics, which tracks our visitors use of the website via some javascript that is included at the bottom of every web page. Nothing identifies you or anyone else personally, it just lets us know things like how many people viewed which pages, how they got to that page, and whether they looked at another of our pages or went somewhere else. To our knowledge, nothing about Analytics is used for serving ads.

So what does all this mean for you?

If you would like to see ads customized to your interests, and do not mind being tracked around the net, then there is nothing you have to do.

If you prefer not to be tracked, there are a few things you can do.

1. You can set your browser to refuse all cookies. If you do that, you will not be able to use the Forum here or many features on other websites.

2. You can set your browser to refuse cookies from third-parties and/or from individual companies. In this case, you would want to refuse cookies from doubleclick.net and doubleclick.com, and maybe even google.com.

3. You can visit the Google website and opt-out of this tracking. They have a button to click that will set a cookie that will tell DoubleClick not to track you. Here is the page: *Google ad and content network privacy policy. Look for the big, blue "Opt Out" button.

4. You can have your browser delete some or all cookies from your computer.
  • If you use Internet Explorer, click on "Tools > Internet Options." Under the "General" tab, in the "Browsing History section, click on "Delete..." which will let you delete certain things, including cookies.
  • If you use Firefox, click on "Tools > Options." Under the "Privacy" tab, in the "Cookies" section, you can do many things. You can decide whether or not to accept cookies from sites and from third-parties and you can decide how long the cookies will remain on your computer. If you click on "Exceptions" you can tell Firefox to always or never accept cookies for individual sites regardless of the main settings. And if you click on "Show Cookies" you can delete all or selected cookies and see what's in the files.
  • Those using other browsers should refer to their documentation.
5. You can read more information about the DoubleClick DART cookie they will use for tracking.

Personally, I have long refused cookies from Doubleclick and other tracking companies, but I accept them from Google because I find the ads useful.

I hope you've found this notice useful. Please feel free to reply with additional information on the subject you think other members will find useful.


Oliver
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Old 03-18-2009, 11:41 PM
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Default Re: Important Changes to Google ads

Oliver,
You warned me when I was so enthusiastic about getting Google Chrome for a browser and Gmail for my email account. You were right - Google knows WAY too much!

This week, I got a sad email from my brother that our neighbor's step mother, a retired nurse had passed away. The Google ads on the side of the email were for nursing schools, funeral homes and steps. :P I know it's all automated, but it was still kind of creepy!
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Old 03-19-2009, 01:15 AM
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Default Re: Important Changes to Google ads

I was reading a thread in politics one time and the google ads were pushing muslim mail-order brides. Guess it was based on the topic of the thread....

Regards,
pat
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Old 03-19-2009, 02:03 PM
hillbillygal hillbillygal is offline
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Default Re: Important Changes to Google ads

Thanks for the heads up Oliver
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