Google is notorious for collecting user data, sometimes even without user consent. The tech giant claims that these data are used for improving Google's search algorithm and also for serving personalized ads on Google and its services.
However, some of us may not be comfortable with Google exploiting our private data. In that case, there is a provision that allows users to opt-out of targeted and personalized ads.
Block personalized ads on Google and its services
- Sign into your Google and go over to the Ad Settings page in a web browser. You’ll see a toggle for ‘Ad Personalization’.
- To opt out of Ad Personalization, click on the toggle. Ignore the warning popup and hit ‘Turn Off’.
If you don’t want to opt-out of personalized ads entirely, Google offers an option for that too. You can choose which information you want Google to serve their ads on. For this, don’t turn off the “Ad Personalization” Toggle as mentioned above.
Control how your ads are personalized
- Scroll down on the Ad settings page and check out the ad categories that Google thinks you are interested in. The list also includes demographic information that can also be switched off to prevent Google from using that to personalize any ads.
- Click on any of the categories to turn them off individually.
Block Targeted Ads on Third-party Websites Using Google Ad Services
- Open youradchoices.com/control and visit the WebChoices tool. You will be taken to a configuration page that will let you opt-out of tracking cookies from third parties.
- Once the site is done with its assessment, click on ‘Opt Out of All’ at the bottom to opt-out of targeted ads from third-party companies.
However, this will only apply to companies that voluntarily participate in this self-regulatory program which will leave the most problematic third-party ad servers free.