In December 2020, google started allowing users in the United States to opt out of adverts that feature alcohol or gambling on Youtube. Now, users all over the world, not just the US can opt out of these ads as well as ones on google’s newly announced sensitive categories like ads on dating, pregnancy, parenting and weight loss.
The feature was introduced as a way to let people see fewer ads on Youtube about potentially addictive gambling or alcohol and now it has been expanded to include other sensitive subjects. People can now choose to see fewer ads that make them uncomfortable or cause them to engage in harmful actions, this move will allow advertisers to better target audience that are more receptive.
How to Opt Out.
Your setting will now apply to all of google’s display network; which is said to be a group of more than 2 million websites. To opt out, go to my account.google.com, select “data & privacy”, then go to “Ad settings” look for “sensitive ad categories and tick the ones you want, like ‘gambling, alcohol, weight loss etc.
You can also opt out via Youtube; go to “Ad settings” scroll to “sensitive ad categories on Youtube” click on “see fewer” button, next to whatever categories you prefer. You will then be asked to confirm the choice (s)
Note that according to google, this is not a full proof solution as you might still get some inter related adverts from an allowed category, which is why it states “fewer ads” and not all ads, but it is a step in the right direction.
People can also now request removals of additional personally identifiable information (PII) such as phone numbers, email addresses or physical addresses from google, when they find it in search results. Also additional information that can pose a risk for identity theft such as confidential log-in credentials, when it appears on search results or which has been shared maliciously, will now be deleted by google upon request.