Google Asking AdSense Publishers To Change Site Privacy Policy

Was surprised today when I got a email from the team asking publishers to update their websites privacy policy and include the use of interest-based advertising. The email took me by surprise, because never in the past have any advertisers asked users to update their privacy policies.

The changes are related to the DoubleClick DART cookies, that will stored on users computers who visit websites displaying Google AdSense ads. The email asks users to update their privacy policy before April 8th 2009.


Interest-based advertising will allow advertisers to show ads based on a user’s previous interactions with them, such as visits to advertiser website and also to reach users based on their interests (e.g. "sports enthusiast").  To develop interest categories, we will recognize the types of web pages users visit throughout the Google content network.  As an example, if they visit a number of sports pages, we will add them to the "sports enthusiast" interest category.  To learn more about your associated account settings, please visit the AdSense Help Center at http://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/topic.py?topic=20310.

As a result of this announcement, your privacy policy will now need to reflect the use of interest-based advertising. Please review the information at https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=100557 to ensure that your site’s privacy policies are up-to-date, and make any necessary changes by April 8, 2009.  Because publisher sites and laws vary across countries, we’re unfortunately unable to suggest specific privacy policy language.

AdSense publishers will now have to add-in a new policy that tells users about these changes, but is it really the publishers job? What is your take on this? Do you think Google is right to tell publishers to update their privacy policy? Do let us know through your comments.

4 thoughts on “Google Asking AdSense Publishers To Change Site Privacy Policy”

  1. I think it’s pretty rediculous if you ask me. How are we supposed to know what to change in the privacy policy? I don’t even understand the technology behind their changes. I’m a publisher, not a programmer or technician or whatever. They expect me to magically come up with something on my own?

    Google is getting really bad with leaving its publishers out in the cold and giving them no information.

  2. I am wondering if interest based advertising brings more revenue to the AdSense publishers. In fact, it should as ads should be more targeted.

    In my opinion it’s weird that Google asks people to update privacy policies on their websites… However, if it cannot be done otherwise, then I agree. Just imagine that that privacy policy addition would be shown within ads :) ….

    I updated privacy policies on most of my websites already.

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