That’s why the digital advertising industry decided to create a simple and intuitive way for people to get information and make choices about certain types of online ads they get. It’s as easy as clicking a blue triangle.
In the corner of many online and mobile ads today, there’s a little blue triangle, sometimes labeled “AdChoices” or “Your AdChoices.” That triangle is known as the YourAdChoices icon, and it can be your gateway to trustworthy information and control over digital ads.
When you see the blue triangle, it means the ad might be using information collected from other websites about your interests to help personalize advertising for you. The icon gives you information about how that process works, along with choices to “opt out” if you don’t want to see that type of advertising, which is known as “interest-based advertising.” It makes predictions about the types of ads groups of people might want to see based on data about the websites or apps they enjoy, such as sports, movies, hobbies or travel.
To protect privacy, most advertising systems are designed to not connect that data to actual names or identities. Instead, those systems use a non-identifiable string of text—such as jsf284vn732ebu19dp—for each computer or mobile device, which lets them deliver ads to that device.
Most people find that type of advertising more relevant and helpful than generic ads. If you’re shopping for a new camera, it can show you ads for discounts or camera accessories you might need. If your team won the playoffs, it can make it easy to buy the team’s new championship gear. If you love to travel, it can help you find bargains and little-known destinations.
Perhaps equally important, those ads help fund the free websites, services, and apps you use every day, including e-mail, news, videos, social media, photos, maps and search.
If you want to learn more about an ad or control your choices, clicking on the icon gives you information about the companies that brought you the ad and a way to turn off the collection and use of data for interest-based advertising from those companies in the future.
In addition, to learn more or control your preferences for hundreds of companies at once, you can go to YourAd
Choices.com, which serves as a control panel for companies engaged in interest-based advertising.
When you visit that site, you get access to a tool that performs a quick system check and shows you which companies are currently customizing ads for your browser. With a few clicks, you can opt out of receiving those types of ads from any of those companies or all of them at once.
The site also offers information and tools in the mobile world via the YourAdChoices.com mobile website and the “AppChoices” app, available for download from all major app stores.
Run by the Digital Advertising Alliance, a non-profit self-regulatory program created and supported by the advertising industry, the Your Ad Choices program—including Web Choices and AppChoices—gives millions of people the tools to control their online advertising experiences. The icon is now served more than a trillion times a month worldwide, making it easy to find and use on all of your devices.
Americans deserve control over how information about them is used for advertising. Happily, there’s a system that protects privacy by design and makes it easy to get information and control. Just click the blue triangle. The digital advertising industry created a way to protect your privacy and give you information and control over ads. Just click the blue triangle.