Session 10: Online Privacy Tools

Part I. What Information Do Advertisers See About You ?

You can see the anonymous profile that third-party data creators have built about you based on your behavior and surfing habits at BlueKai’s Registry. Launched in September 2008, BlueKai is a  data exchange which aggregates user information based on cookies, I.P. addresses (e.g. your computer’s address on the Internet), and publisher-owned information.

Here’s a snippet of my profile as shown on BlueKai’s Registry:

BlueKai also lets you opt-out through its BlueKai Registry. Opt-out means you inform BlueKai that you do not wish your profile to be traded on their data exchange, and you also want to stop more data from being added to your profile.

Part II. PrivacyChoice

PrivacyChoice provides browser plug-ins that can show you the privacy scores of web sites that you’re visiting. These plug-ins can also show all cookies and trackers that are currently on your machine, among other things.

For example, I typed in Facebook’s URL to check its privacy score.

Checking a Site's Privacy Score

And here’s the result I get.

Facebook's Score on Privacychoice.org

Part III. Opting out of Behavioral Advertising

Go to google.com/ads/preferences to disable the Google cookie that stores your interest related information.

Yahoo lets you opt-out of targeted advertising at http://info.yahoo.com/privacy/us/yahoo/opt_out/targeting/details.html.

You can also opt-out of online behavioral advertising from multiple advertising networks through the opt-out page at the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising web site. For example, here are the advertising networks who belong to the self-regulatory program whose behavioral advertising program I can opt-out of on my computer’s browser.

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