Google – Stop Following Me

February 14, 2012 by in The Pit Blog

google privacyDear Google: I am writing to tell you one important fact. I bought the Sony NEX-5N camera. As you know, a friend of mine contacted me through my Gmail account, because he had recently purchased the Sony and he was ecstatic. I purchased the camera with the 19-55 mm lens, and then I also purchased the 55-200 lens as well. If you must know, I also purchased a bag, a tripod, and some filters. I paid roughly $1000 from Amazon.com and used my personal credit card. The stuff arrived about a week later, and I paid my Visa bill one month later.

Like my friend, I love my Sony camera. It is amazing. The camera can do three things that no other camera can do. 1) It is incredible in low light. So incredible that I have yet to take a picture using the flash. 2) It takes video at 60 frames per second, where as all other cameras are stuck at 30 fps, and 3) It has a panorama mode that is incredible. You move the camera in one direction, and it takes multiple photos and stitches them all together on the fly. Amazing.

So I bought the product and I am happy with it and I paid for it. So here is the reason that I am writing you. The Sony ads for my camera are following me around like some weird horror movie. I don’t care what web site I go, there is always a Sony ad for my camera. Apparently, you know that I visited Sony’s web site, but you have no way of knowing that I actually purchased the camera. Perhaps, I should have purchased the camera from Sony’s web site rather than Amazon’s? I have searched on my settings in my browser, and there is no way to inform Google of this purchase.

Google keeps serving up these Sony Ads months after I purchased the camera.


To be honest, I feel sorry for Sony. They are making an excellent product and they are losing money to you guys trying to convince me to purchase a second one. BTW, it was the recommendation of my friend and not the stupid Google advertising which convinced me to purchase the camera.

One of your mantra’s is “Do No Evil”. I would not put this in the evil category. It is just kind of stupid. We all have this image of Google of being this company full of super smart, hip and young people. Clearly this is no longer true.

The ads will not relent, and it is making me mad. So mad, that I have now decided to start using Bing. I was hesitant at first, after all, I was not unhappy with Google’s search results. It’s your business practices that tick me off. Bing is actually quite good. I do miss Google Maps, but Bing’s search results are only slightly different than Google’s and I am adjusting to those nuances.

All of this makes wonder. What is Google’s vision with this robobot advertising model? It is certainly not working for me, and if Sony is paying for the advertising, it probably isn’t working for them. So what next? It makes me worry. Will Google find a more intrusive way to make money?

This is all part of a disturbing trend. Facebook is now tracking all of the articles certain people read on the internet. I get a little update every day about what articles my Mom and others are reading. Facebook has no idea on whether my Mom likes the article or whether she found it informative. Facebook doesn’t even know whether she made it to the end of the article. But somehow, I am supposed to find this information interesting. So interesting that I want to read the article too. But of course, if I did that, then Facebook would start tracking all of the articles that I read.

So in conclusion, Google wants to track everything that I buy, so they can jam advertisements in my face non stop until I buy. Problem is that they don’t know when I buy so they just keep slamming you with ads of products you already bought. Facebook wants to track every article you read and share with all your friends. Somehow, I think that the internet is taking a step backwards.

Opting Out of Behavioral Advertsing

The NAI Opt-out Tool was developed to allow consumers to “opt out” of the behavioral advertising delivered by our members of the Network Advertising Initiative.

Using the NAI Tool, you can examine your computer to identify those member companies that have placed an advertising cookie file on your computer.

To opt out of an NAI member’s behavioral advertising program, simply check the box that corresponds to the company from which you wish to opt out. Alternatively, you can check the box labeled “Select All” and each member’s opt-out box will be checked for you. Next click the “Submit” button. The Tool will automatically replace the specified advertising cookie(s) and verify your opt-out status.

Opting out of a network does not mean you will no longer receive online advertising. It does mean that the network from which you opted out will no longer deliver ads tailored to your Web preferences and usage patterns.–networkadvertising.org

How to Use the NAI Opt Out Tool

FAQs about the NAI Tool

How to permanently opt out of the DoubleClick cookie, which is an advertising cookie that Google uses.

40 Responses to Google – Stop Following Me

  1. waterlubber says:

    I click the how to permanetly opt out of doubleclick button, and google gave me a 404. Go figure.


  2. Bob says:

    Blocking Doubleclick will result in blocking of certain otherwise harmless websites.


  3. InterKnight says:

    For those who are extremely concerned about privacy, you could check out the TAILS live Linux distribution. I use Ubuntu as my primary operating system, and with the NoScript plugin for Firefox as well as some router tweaking and other things, I do not have too much of a problem with ads and so forth. I also use Thunderbird to retrieve my GMail messages via an IMAP connection; this setup works pretty well for me. It does get bothersome seeing all fo the ads when I do have to login to GMail via the Web for account administration purposes.


  4. Norml018 says:

    Install a host file – problem solved, and not just Google adds, but 99% of all adds…


  5. Moshe Valenci says:

    falling from the fork of one giant (google) to the claw of another (microsoft).
    i'm sad for you as you are making service and advertisement for the giants.


  6. Babsy says:

    Interesting article. All the hoorah comments about loss of privacy, lack of regulation, etc. indicate how many folks just don’t GET it. The Internet was created as an open, unregulated space. You do the best you can to protect yourself, ’cause no one else is going to.

    I tried out the NAI Opt-Out thing, and interestingly, only about half the listed members would successfully opt out. I did send a report on this to NAI, but really, how invested ARE they in blocking the use of these systems? Sort of like expecting the Chamber of Commerce to enforce a ban against their members advertising.

    Oh, well.


  7. VooDoo says:

    As long as we have people in charge in our government who feel the intense desire to exhort power and inflict their will on the people,” you and I”, we will continue to lose our freedom (freedom is all we do and experience) Democrat, Republican or otherwise it doesn’t matter, they are all infected with the same evil!


  8. Sam says:

    What if I just uninstall Google? Except for Picassa, and using the email on occasion, would that fix Googles ongoing issues?


    • Horus says:

      @Sam: I would not worry Sam. This is a storm inn a tea cup. Unless you are a pedo or doing something you don’t want your wife/partner to know, I would not worry.

      As I posted earlier, Google have a very good privacy opt out. Click on them and you are done across your entire Google infrastructure. If you use any browser, goto any site you are getting cookies that log and record certain activity, so in real terms if you want to be moving around the internet and do not want to be followed/recorded then you will have to delete cookies everytime you leave a site, start the next search from a new window and then you might just about stop being recorded.

      Get over it and get back to what you were doing, Google have just made it easier for you to Opt out, if you think that is a problem then you really need to stop reading conspiracy magazines/online sites.

      Honestly this is nothing to worry about, Google have done a good thing.


      • Sam says:

        @Horus: lol No, I’m not a pedo, but I do value my privacy. I come from a DV situation so guess I’m a bit skiddish.

        Thanks for the info, I’ll do what you said and try not to worry. :)

        PS I don’t read conspiracy magazines/articles. There has been alot floating around lately about google and other sites w privacy issues thereby raising my ‘alert antennae’


        • Horus says:

          @Sam: @Sam: Honestly I was, and never would call anyone one a Pedo. Sorry if that offended that was not what I meant, please accept my apology if I did not make myself clear. Sorry.

          I have noticed a lot of BS floating about for the past few years, from Apple making the only good products (absolute rubbish), Windows is in decline (total rubbish), Google stealing Data, etc. etc.

          All of this should be taken with a pinch of salt, the Author’s of these type of threads want to over exaggerate the need to worry. They want to create an hysteria that is not needed or warranted.

          If you are on the internet you would have to use a VPN, IP masking, or other more hardware based mechanisms to stay totally anonymous. It is a fallacy to think you are not being followed right now by one or two cookies. Like I say if you are running an upto date AV and Spyware, there is nothing to worry about, unless you are a nuclear scientist from Iran (then don’t connect to the internet).

          If you have an upto date AV and Spyware then half the battle is won. The most basic security is YOU! Don’t follow links from ANYONE, only read Text emails not HTML. If you really need to follow these type of things then ‘Right click’ links/pictures/adverts to ‘copy link address’ and paste it via a search (Bing, Google whatever takes your fancy).

          Again I hope you did not get the wrong idea, I really should have made myself clearer. Have a safe and enjoyable surf.


          • Horus says:

            @Horus: That should start with ‘I could, and never would’ Damn should have proof read that. Sorry I wrote it too quickly as I wanted to apologise for the silly example.

            Bloody hippies, never let them near a keyboard before their second pint of tea. :)


          • Sam says:

            @Horus: No problem. Looks like I’ve got myself covered then! With the AV/Spyware stuff, and I’m quite cautious w emails. I tried to use a VPN once, but it was a bit complicated for me. Thanks again for the info, I’ll rest easier tonight.


  9. guardone says:

    Facebook is getting more ads. Create 2 FB profiles, one for your best friends only and never click on a commercial and have utmost privacy settings. 2nd FB with extra letter in your name for all of your public profile business. this will collect ads but you will know that the entire profile can be junked whenever you wish.


  10. BANG! A dead Ad is a good Ad.


  11. Forest says:

    If I want ads, I will watch commercial supported TV or listen to the similar counterpart radio. I hate ads online, they are disruptive, steal bandwidth (no matter how minimal) and to not reimburse me for it. I use 3 different browsers usually Chrome, Firefox and IE, so I definitely Opted Out on all.


  12. Horus says:

    If you don’t want adverts from your email/searches go here:-

    https://www.google.com/settings/u/0/ads/preferences/

    To stop history collection go here :-

    https://www.google.com/history/?hl=en

    Personally I turn off all filter, and [i]Google Instant predictions[/i], [i]Personal results[/i] in the Google search settings. Here :-

    https://www.google.com/preferences?hl=en

    You do not need 3rd party software to do any of this, the more programs you have running the more resources they take up and you also open yourself up to attacks from those products security flaws.


  13. Ron says:

    When I tried to install the advertising cookie opt-out plugin for internet explorer, the download progress showed that I was downloading and installing google earth instead. What’s with that?

    http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/html/intl/en/plugin/index.html


  14. Fran says:

    I just run Ccleaner and the ads stop. I also found out that when I scan my computer with Panda after running Ccleaner, there is nothing there to cause problems.


  15. fishy says:

    WHY is there an AD for Google’s “advertising opt out” on an article purporting to tell people how to get Google to STOP tracking you???

    Maybe legit? But sure sounds FISHY!


  16. InterKnight says:

    I use Firefox, NoScript, DuckDuckGo, and soon will use two other extensions mentioned in the comments here.

    I was thinking of getting an Android smart phone when it is time to upgrade my phone later this year, but I think I may just settle with a standard non-smart phone (if any still exist) and just purchase a Spark Tablet powered by Mer Core and KDE Plasma Active.

    While we’re on this subject, does anyone know of a better alternative to GMail? Unless I am using a publicly available service to do something terribly illegal, my business should be my business.

    I’ll never forget a lecture in a Business Information Systems course which I took over a year or two ago…The professor was telling us about Google’s Background Check service for employers. I remember his quote of the “Do No Evil” statement…It’s a shame, but when money is involved, Good and Evil can sometimes be tossed out the door.

    Thanks for this article.


  17. Eyz Looking says:

    Get Simple AdBlock, and enjoy ad free browsing ALL the time. Best way to beat all the advertisers!


  18. Jimmy Ward says:

    do this on all of your browsers…you must do this on each browser…if you have explorer, yahoo, and google…do it on each browser, it does not automatically do that for you…just an fyi.


  19. Sergey says:

    Solving of the problem described above is adblock – rulezzz! Kills ad on every page! like it ))


  20. Renard says:

    I have stopped using google as my search engine, instead I use DuckDuckGo.

    I have installed Do Not Track Plus on all my browsers. Thi effectively block tracking!!!


  21. Horus says:

    Just sign out of the service, goto Google Search settings and turn those suckers off. Then you will get adds but not pertaining to your search results.

    Turn off your Google History as well if you are that concerned. To be honest you should never click on an advert anyway, they can be the harbinger of much pain and suffering (much like using Facebook).

    I like most internet users do not see adverts well unless there are a big pair of… anyway they are only adverts ‘GET BACK TO WORK, and stop looking for stuff to buy’. lol

    8-)


  22. Mari Sugar says:

    adblock….


  23. Dr L says:

    Thanks for the info-I’ll change to Bing on my computers where google is used now.
    What about the Google get rid of double click app. Pertinent?


  24. I also read an AP article that said Google turned over to the Feds thousands of personal files of requested individuals.

    So, now the ‘media’ pimps AND spies for the government! How UnAmerican of them! Disgusting!

    BILL


    • bikermailman says:

      @William Black: I had trouble with google years ago, when they were turning over info on Chinese dissidents to the Chinese government. Years later, they supposedly recanted, but with all the digging in they do these days, I won’t even use youtube while logged in.


  25. David Smith says:

    Get your privacy back!


  26. Devon says:

    I run the Google Chrome browser with AdBlock extension and don’t see any ads at all.


  27. Rose Phillips says:

    yay thank you google tracking is very annoying I did opt out thank you again :)


  28. Paul Wickham says:

    Opt out of google adds.


  29. Hew Hamilton says:

    Are you tired of the Google ads following you to every web page you visit? The ads trying to get you to buy an item that you may have already purchased months ago? Here is a way to "opt out" of these ads!


  30. Hellcat TheFirst says:

    Get GOOGLE to Stop Following You! It's Great!


  31. Attila Maradi says:

    how to get rid of Google ads.


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