How to stop Google ads from tracking you on the web

It was recently revealed that Google and a number of advertisers had found a way to bypass some privacy features in modern web browsers, allowing them to forgo third-party cookie policies and serve targeted ads regardless of a user’s privacy settings. The report caused a stir among privacy advocates and consumers alike, and it prompted Google and other companies to agree to honor browsers’ do-not-track policy by the end of the year. Some users may not want to wait up to nine months to know they’re not being tracked, however, and Google has a solution for privacy-conscious web users who don’t want to be followed. Read on for more.

Google has an extension called “Keep My Opt-Outs” available for Chrome browser users that will block all cookies related to personalized ads. The cookies in question track a user’s path across various websites and then use that history to serve relevant advertisements. Web browsers all include a setting to block this process but a number of advertisers such as Google use a special code to circumvent this setting in browsers like Safari and Internet Explorer.

“Keep My Opt-Outs is an extension for users who are not comfortable with personalization of the ads they see on the web,” Google noted on the extension’s Chrome Web Store page. “It’s a one-step, persistent opt-out of personalized advertising and related data tracking performed by companies adopting the industry privacy standards for online advertising.”

Keep My Opt-Outs will work on OS X and Windows computers, but only in the Chrome browser.

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