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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.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content.

Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment. His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.