Control your Ad Preferences (and Cookies) 2011!

What a difference a year makes! New posts are brewing but in a continuing effort to help ease the privacy data paranoia and highlight progress, this popular Tip of the Spear Blog post has been updated for 2011. Can’t wait for the 2012 election fueled update…

With all the hub-ub from the New York Times, WSJ, gubment (including former Black Panther and Chicago’s very own Bobby Rush) and consumer privacy fanatics you must be growing VERY concerned. For your handy reference below is a list of major consumer settings panels where you can adjust your advertising preferences that is actually much easier than correcting information on your credit report.

Global Opt-in Cookie Managers
These services have emerged as a one-stop shop for consumers.
  1. PrivacyChoice – Very easy to use and includes Yahoo, Bizo, BlueKai & Exelate. Individual publishers can skin this with their ad partners.
  2. PreferenceCentral – Not sure what control this really provides just yet but it looks interesting.
  3. TrustE – a recent effort and competitive to NAI; it has more non-participatns provided seemingly to get them off the fence. Not a bad approach.
  4. NAI opt-out – The industry choice. If you really don’t want ANY advertising tailored to you, set your opt-out centrally and then get lots of irelavant ads – enjoy…also, don’t change computers or delete the cookie! 
The Consumer Portals
You get your email 24×7 and store your personal life’s electronic communiques in there for free – somebody has to pay for this!
  1. Google – comprehensive and interest-based; no observed behavior included (yet). There is also the Google Dashboard for general privacy.
  2. Microsoft – another comprehensive list of interests; no observed behavior.
  3. Yahoo – fairly deep interest profile; no observed behavior. Their Ad Interest Manager currently only allows 7 catagory opt-outs – seems like an odd limit on something that makes the advertising more valuable.
  4. AOL – not much control here yet.
Specific Advertising Provider Preference Managers
The data providers of the world mostly work behind the scenes but have a variety of services for consumers to control their advertising.
  1. Blue Kai – by far the most interesting with a new interface. Plenty of behavioral ad targeting fodder in here. Also, you can really see the presence of offline credit ratings companies busily creating a whole new revenue stream off of you; interesting that because it is just as creepy yet harder to see. Still, Blue Kai stands out as offering a benefit to charities.
  2. Exelate – they changed the URL! No worries, we found the new one for you. Exelate is not as behavior dominated but has many interest categories. Also, it doesn’t seem to update in real-time.
  3. Lotame – fairly innocuous interest and sub-interest categories with observed behavior.
  4. Bizo – known as the B2B player in the digital advertising data business. Nice approach actually.
  5. Safecount –  from the DynamicLogic (WPP) family comes a totally different approach; with no behavioral segments but plenty of ad creative and sites you’ve been to; no interest preferences here. Actually shows you the creative units.
  6. Amazon – pretty simplistic control over personalization of Amazon ads.
  7. Blue Cava – mobile targeting manager. 
  8. RapLeaf – Opt-out and preference manager; associates to an email address.

If anyone has any other suggestions for the above list, please drop me a line!

Also, in case you were looking for a Flash cookie control panel to view and/remove such locally stored objects:

Last, don’t be evil and enjoy your new Google Toilet ™!