Blog Post

Yahoo Lets Users Opt Out Of Targeted Ads; But Is It Enough For Regulators?

On the same day as an FTC discussion on online privacy, Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) is rolling out a tool that gives users of its sites the option to opt out of behavioral targeted ads. An online dashboard shows users what “interests” Yahoo thinks they have and lets them specify that they don’t want to see ads aimed at those categories (I found Yahoo’s understanding of my interests scarily accurate; see your own here). There’s also a quick summary of which Yahoo properties users visit most frequently.

The rollout follows the introduction by Google of a similar dashboard last month, which lets users see in one place what data that company has collected on them. And, when Google (NSDQ: GOOG) began to test a behavioral targeting system on its sites this spring, it also said it would let users specify what kind of ads they did and did not want to see.

It also comes as Yahoo has become increasingly vocal about the value of the data it collects on its users, pointing out that that is something that differentiates it from competitors. “When users come to Yahoo across all these assets, including the home page, they do one thing that is the most exciting, at least for me