As the debate over do-not-track legislation rages on, Google and Yahoo continue to take steps hoping to appease those in favor of blocking all trackable user data. Google announced on their AdWords blog that they will adopt the familiar blue-triangle icon that users can use to opt-out of targeted advertising.
"We'll soon start to change our in-ads notice icon to a new icon that expands to an 'AdChoices' label," said Google's Lisa Shieh on the AdWords blog. "With the change from our 'i' icon and 'Ads by Google' label to these new notifications, we hope to show our support for this cross-industry initiative, and to increase our users' understanding about ad choices through adoption of an icon they'll see on ads across the web."
When clicked, the icon expands to allow users to alter categories of interest that are then associated with relevant ads, and to opt out of targeted ads altogether. Google's options disable cookie-related data and demographic information, while Yahoo's options also disable data collected from its partner sites. TRUSTe also features the icon for ads from its clients.
It's important to note that some of the opt-outs do not completely disable data-tracking – a point of contention with those opposed to self-regulatory initiatives and supporting full do-not-track legislation.
See Website Magazine's May 2011 edition, where we take a very close look at the current state of do-not-track legislation.