Wednesday, January 7, 2009

OT: Privacy Info on Yahoo, Google and other networks

I got this from one of my mailing lists (thanks Jenny!) and felt it was important to conduct my own research. I was unpleasantly surprised to find out that I had active cookies in networks like Akamai and BlueLithium which I don't remember visiting. =(

For a comprehensive opt-out option (across various search engines), go to http://networkadvertising.org/managing/opt_out.asp. Note that the NAI Opt-out tool is cookie-based. If you buy a new computer, change web browsers or delete this cookie, you will need to perform the opt-out task again.

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Yahoo is Tracking Group Members

If you belong to ANY Yahoo Groups - be aware that Yahoo is now using "Web Beacons" to track every Yahoo Group user. It's similar to cookies, but allows Yahoo to record every website and every group you visit, even when you're not connected to Yahoo. Look at their updated privacy statement at

http://info.yahoo.com/privacy/us/yahoo/details.html

About half-way down the page, in the section on *cookies*, you will see a link that says *WEB BEACONS*. Click on the phrase "Web Beacons." On the page that opens, on the left find a box entitled "Opt-Out." In that section find "opt-out of interest-matched advertising" link that will let you "opt-out" of their snooping. Click it and then click the opt-out button on the next page. Note that Yahoo's invasion of your privacy - and your ability to opt-out of it - is not user-specific. It is MACHINE specific. That means you will have to opt-out on every computer (and browser) you use.

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