Yahoo reins in behavioral targeting, slightly
Later this month, users will have the ability to turn off behaviorally targeted ads on Yahoo.com properties, expanding the tracking opt-out that Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO) had previously offered on its network of third-party sites.
The move comes in response to a letter of inquiry from leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, who had asked 33 Internet service and content companies for details on how they track people's Web activities to target advertising. That letter was the latest step in an ongoing fact-finding mission as lawmakers seek to ferret out the real threat to individual privacy that new advertising technologies pose.
Of course, for the watchdog groups that have been trying to hold online advertisers' feet to the fire, Yahoo's move falls short of the mark. Privacy advocates have long pushed for an opt-in policy that would only allow Web firms to track user behavior after receiving expressed permission.