Google users are receiving notifications via Chrome and Gmail that a new web portal has launched which, among other things, allows you to control the types of ads you see online. It’s an entirely opt-in service that allows you to provide Google with personal details and topics of interest — information it will then use to serve you more targeted ads.
The feature is included in a new home on the web for all your Google activity, which is appropriately titled ‘My Activity’. My Activity displays everything you’ve been doing on Google in reverse chronological format, including: searches conducted, websites visited, places looked up in Maps, Android apps you’ve used, and ads you’ve interacted with.
If you’re concerned about Google collecting and storing all of this information, it’s important to note that only you can access information about your activity and you can delete anything you don’t want to have in there.
Within My Activity is a page called Ads Personalization, which is where you can go to customize the ads you see. On the page you will see checkboxes of topics that you can add or remove, sections to enter your age and gender, as well as a switch to toggle ads based on your interests on or off.
When the feature is turned on, ads you see will be served based on previous search history, videos watched on YouTube, and other information you have provided. If you opt-in you will agree to provide Google with information about ads you have interacted with. When the feature is turned off, ads will not be based on any of your Google activity. Instead, they may be based on your general location
If there’s one sure thing about using Google services it’s that you will be subjected to ads. At least with this feature you have the option of making those ads more relevant, if you decide to opt-in at all.