Google acquired online advertising network Doubleclick in 2007, assuring that user privacy would be prioritized with the development of new ad products. To keep the promise, the search giant separated their huge database of web browsing data from personal info collected from users’ Gmail account and other parts of its product suite. However, last summer Google asked its account holders quietly to opt-in to sharing more data, a crooked request for permission to tie browser activity of users with personally-identifying information for better catering ads. In a brief, Google’s ads know who you are wherever you go as you sign up.
It means, based on the information users entered in Gmail, Doubleclick ads can further cater to them. Bundling names and email information with search attempts and browsing habits, as well as offering ads that are thoroughly suited, Google can create a complete profile.
Those who are signing up for a new account, their accounts will automatically opt into this level of data sharing. However, existing users were asked whether they’d opt-in for receiving new features for their Google accounts or not. Up to now, that just drove to more closely tailored ads and the power to view activity linked to your account across multiple devices.
Google claims to bring this adjustment to their ad policy to adapt to the smartphone era. A spokesperson provided a statement to ProPublica, saying that opting in allows Google to offer ads more precisely catered to users, based on what they do across all the devices.
HOW TO OPT-OUT:
If you’ve opted in already, you can also opt-out at any time. You can find out opt-in/out toggle by selecting “My Account” from the title menu on any signed in Google page.Uncheck the box marked “Include Chrome browsing history and activity from websites and apps that use Google services,” and you’re done. The problem is solved, leaving a fear of intrusion as these tech giants violate on promises.