March 12, 2009

AdSense Privacy? - Need New Ad Provider

I got an interesting email from AdSense. They are introducing "interest-based advertising". Seems harmless, right? Well, maybe. But if it is, why does this "enhancement" have anything to do with a publisher's privacy policy?

"We're writing to let you know about the upcoming launch of interest-based advertising, which will require you to review and make any necessary changes to your site's privacy policies. ...make any necessary changes by April 8, 2009."

Ok, sure. Like the sitemaps... where do I get the template/code/widget/whatever? How do I comply?

"...we're unfortunately unable to suggest specific privacy policy language."

Hmm... Ok, the link in the email for "AdSense Help" (link below) was a little more helpful:

Your posted privacy policy should include the following information about Google and the DoubleClick DART cookie:

  • Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on your site.

  • Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and other sites on the Internet.

  • Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy. (link below)

EDIT: These guys have more info on the cookie technology:
SEO Book - Google Phorm Behavioral Ad Targeting

I found an AdSense privacy policy generator(link below).

...but I'm pretty sure I am going to remove the AdSense. I have until April 8th to decide. What would you like to see? Leave a comment if you know of an ad network, advertisers, or some other (preferably monetized) widget, gadget, network, group, exchange, etc. that would provide good technology-related content, and would actually add to the site, leave a comment, Twitter, email, smoke signal...


  1. LoL "Ok, sure. Like the sitemaps... where do I get the template/code/widget/whatever? How do I comply?"

    The email they sent was hardly understood by most people with adsense in the first place.

    This is a big deal, I will probably discontinue using adsense, I'm also looking for an alternative - I'm sure something will pop up before the 8th

  2. I've read that this is about their planned changes to track google user history and tailor google ads to their entire view history on google, rather than the site that they are viewing at the moment. It's raising some questions about privacy.

    I know google has always stored all user information for a few weeks, but this looks like their next step in applying it on top of analytics.

  3. yes, the email is not very clear. what they want to do is unclear. they shd have amde a format and posted it there that plesae add this ti ur blogs or sites rather thn confusing people

  4. Sam, I agree that they should have been clearer, however I am pretty sure they intentionally were not. I've heard too many stories of people getting the shaft when they get to, oh, a few thousand dollars in their AdSense. That's when Google finally looks and says "Oh, wait, your privacy policy is no good / not there - hey, thanks for the money"

    Maybe they could help the little guy instead of being a greedy behemoth that doesn't even innovate anymore...


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