Feeds

Google explains 'why' ads target user's Gmail

How our bots drill into your ONLINE BRAIN

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Google has begun telling users of its Gmail service exactly why it is serving up specific ads that creepily refer to the content detailed in individual email correspondence.

"Our advertising system is designed to show the right ad to the right person at the right time," said the world's largest ad broker in a blog post penned by the company's advertising veep Susan Wojcicki yesterday.

"Over the coming weeks, we’re making improvements to provide greater transparency and choice regarding the ads you see on Google search and Gmail. Soon, you’ll be able to learn more about these ads by clicking the 'Why these ads' link next to ads on Google search results and Gmail."

There's a little more to it than that, however. The new feature will also allow Gmailers to see information about search ad targeting as well as opt out of being fed ads from certain advertisers.

Google added so-called "personalised ads" to its Gmail service in early 2010.

Since then, the company is now subject to regular privacy audits under the supervision of the Federal Trade Commission in the US after Google's epic fail with the stealth bolt-on of Buzz to Gmail.

More generally, regulators in Europe and the US are increasingly gently poking internet businesses to be more transparent about how they serve up targeted ads.

No wonder then that Google wants to be seen to be doing the right thing by adding the "Why these ads" functionality to Gmail. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.