Thursday, June 18, 2009
Online advertising and user choice
Two subcommitees of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce will hold a joint hearing this morning about online advertising. The focus of the hearing will be on industry practices and consumer expectations for advertising that's tailored to users' online activities, also commonly known as "behavioral advertising." Google Deputy General Counsel Nicole Wong will be testifying about our advertising products and our commitment to protecting the privacy of our users.
More specifically, Nicole will talk about interest-based advertising, which we launched in March in beta for our our AdSense partner sites and YouTube. Interest-based advertising uses information about the web pages people visit to make the online ads they see more relevant. Relevant advertising, in turn, has fueled the content, products and services available on the Internet today.
The most important point that Nicole will make is that consumers need and deserve greater transparency and choice when it comes to online behavioral advertising. Our launch of interest-based advertising includes innovative, consumer-friendly features that provide meaningful transparency and choice for our users — such as ads labeled 'Ads by Google,' a tool called the Ads Preferences Manager (which lets users view, add and remove the categories that are used to show them interest-based ads), and the choice to opt out of interest-based ads altogether.
You can read Nicole's complete testimony and you can watch a video about how interest-based advertising works on the Google Privacy Channel on YouTube:
UPDATE (6/19) Check out the video of Nicole's oral testimony below.