Yahoo Announces Ad Interest Manager

Yahoo has announced a brand new privacy tool for its users that will allow them to observe how their private data is being utilised by Yahoo for the purpose of targeted advertisement.

The internet giant mentioned in a blog post that the ‘Ad Interest Manager’ will allow the user to see the information Yahoo has about their ad interests and will also give them the opportunity to edit the interests according to their needs.

However, the tool will also let the users to turn-off the targeted ads altogether, if they wish to do so. Yahoo said that ‘Ad Interest Manager’ will help its users in understanding the concept of online advertisement better and will allow them to communicate their interests to Yahoo.

Interestingly, the concept of behavior-based online advertisement has sparked debates all over the internet world as privacy watch-dogs have apprehensions about how the users’ data is being used by websites like Yahoo, Google and Bing who claim that the user information allows them to serve interest-specific ads to their users.

Incidentally, Yahoo had announced last year that it will ‘anonymise’ its data within 90 days of collecting it. This means that after 90 days, that data will not be able to be tracked to a particular user.

Similarly Google and Microsoft have confirmed that they will ‘anonymise’ their data after 9 months and 18 months respectively.

Our Comments

The tool is limited to Yahoo’s US users for now but will be launched in Europe in a couple of weeks. Let's hope that others - like Microsoft and Google - will follow suit soon. Some however have said that the Yahoo AIM is far from being user friendly and ends up being more "confusing" than helpful.

Related Links

Yahoo Ad Interest Manager More Confusing Than Helpful

(PC World)

Yahoo launches online consumer privacy tool

(MSN)

Yahoo Tool Gives Users a Say in What Ads They See

(Tech News World)

Yahoo adds ad-preferences manager

(Washington Post)