Google Extends Controls for Limiting Ads

Daniel Attoe
Daniel Attoe

Updated · Apr 29, 2022

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The company announced on Thursday that users can choose to see fewer YouTube and Google ads in three new categories.

New Ad Controls

Google is rolling out new user controls that will let people limit the ads they see centering on: 

  • Pregnancy and parenting
  • Dating
  • Weight loss

Late in 2020, the tech giant announced YouTube ad controls to allow users to check exposure to gambling and alcohol ads. Initially restricted to those in the United States, it eventually rolled out globally.

Those controls have now expanded in response to clamouring from users, according to Google’s Group Product Manager for Ads Privacy Karin Hennessy.

“People want more controls over their ads experience, including blocking ads or categories they prefer not to see,” she said. “Providing transparency and control has always been a priority for us so we’re expanding our tools.”

Hennessy added that Google will continue to accept and study user feedback to guide future changes.

Tech giants like Google consistently come under fire for ad targeting policies. The majority of the firm’s revenue comes from advertisements.

Limited Does Not Mean Zero Ads

There is an important distinction to take note of. If users opt out of an ad category, they will only see fewer ads of that type. 

It does not mean that they will not see any ad sorted in that category. According to Hennessy, some ads are difficult to categorize and so may slip through the cracks.

Furthermore, they will not limit the information the company collects from users, only what they can see.

How to Use the Controls

People who are interested in enabling the controls can find them in the Ad Settings on their Google Account dashboards. 

Navigate to the “Sensitive ad categories” section to access the five different ad topics. 

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Daniel Attoe

Daniel Attoe

Daniel is an Economics grad who fell in love with tech. His love for books and reading pushed him into picking up the pen - and keyboard. Also a data analyst, he's taking that leap into data science and machine learning. When not writing or studying, chances are that you'll catch him watching football or face-deep in an epic fantasy novel.

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