How to prevent Google from using your browsing history to target advertisements

Similar to the way third-party tracking cookies operate, Google is now allowing companies to utilize your online activity to deliver targeted advertisements. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to opt out of this feature today.

How to stop Google from selling your browser history for ad targeting

In recent months, Google has been gradually introducing its new ad technology within Chrome, which they describe as “Enhanced ad privacy.” Essentially, this new policy permits websites to access a user’s Chrome browser history in order to display relevant ads.

This new technology was initially introduced in a Chrome update back in July, but more and more users are reporting a popup notification about this addition. So, if you haven’t encountered it yet, chances are you will soon.

When the popup does appear, it informs users of changes in ad policies and provides details about what’s new. Google does mention that “You can make changes in Chrome settings,” but clicking “Got it” to dismiss the popup will still enable the new option.

Though it functions much like the long-standing third-party tracking cookies, many individuals are unhappy about Google utilizing their online activities to boost ad revenue. Fortunately, there’s a relatively straightforward way to opt out.

From your Chrome browser, navigate to “Settings,” then select “Privacy and Security,” and finally, choose “Ad Privacy.” In this section, you’ll find three tabs: ad topics, site-suggested ads, and ad measurement.

The first tab employs an algorithm to generate a list of subjects Google believes you’re interested in, based on your online activity. The second tab offers suggestions for ads based on the websites you’ve visited, while the third tab allows advertisers to gauge the performance of their ads.

If you wish, you can explore the ad topics tab to see what information Google has gathered about you. However, if you’d like to put a stop to this tracking (at least for these specific purposes), simply deactivate all three categories.

Keep in mind that other websites still have their own tracking methods, but this action reduces Google Chrome’s utilization of your personal data.

Naturally, this represents just a small part of the overall online privacy challenge, as you are still being tracked to some extent nearly everywhere you go online. Nevertheless, it’s a step in the direction of granting users more control over their data.

If you remain uncertain about Chrome’s new policy, you might also consider switching to an alternative browser that prioritizes online privacy.

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