Yahoo! announced today that it would allow users to opt out of customized advertising that targets ads based on your previous web surfing habits. Google made a similar announcement yesterday when it added a global opt-out button for the cookie served via ads on the Google content network (DoubleClick ads). Yahoo! also has an opt-out link, but the changes won’t actually take effect until the end of the month.
The new opt-out policies come in response to a letter sent last week by the US House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Subcommittee to 33 ISPs and Internet firms, including Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL, expressing concern over how private data is recorded and used. The letter asked the companies to respond to a series of questions about how ads are “tailored” to users, and how consumers are notified of the practice.
Yahoo! responded with a letter to address to Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) today. You can read the full letter here. One concern, raised by ZDNet’s Larry Dignan, is that Yahoo!’s opt-out procedure is not as clean as Google’s. In addition to the Yahoo! network advertising opt-out, there appear to be separate opt-out links for Blue Lithium and Right Media, which are parts of Yahoo!. (Note: you can opt out from any members of the “Network Advertising Initiative” on this page. A large number of firms, including Google DoubleClick, Yahoo!, AOL’s Tacoda, and 24/7 Real Media are members.)
So our question to you is, will you opt out from Yahoo! and Google ad cookies now that you have the option?