Yahoo expands its opt-out policy for targeted ads

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Yahoo announced today that it plans to provide users with the ability to opt-out of receiving targeted, customized advertising on all of its properties.

The change is scheduled to go into effect by the end of August, according to Kelley Benander, a Yahoo spokeswoman. “We've been planning an implementation at the end of August for some time,” she said, but the announcement was moved up in light of the recent Congressional inquiry.

The company already allows users to opt out of customized advertising on third party sites.

Earlier this month, several members of the US House of Representatives sent letters to 33 Internet and broadband companies — including Yahoo — asking them about the kind of information they collect from their users.

Benander said Yahoo does not anticipate that the change will impact advertising revenue for the company. Instead, she expected that it would be a competitive advantage. “We're hearing from advertisers that they want to be able to serve advertising in a place where consumers are comfortable with relevant advertising,” she said.

Users will be able to access the opt-out feature through the Yahoo privacy center, which is linked to the company's home page as well as “nearly every” page within the Yahoo network, the company said.

Yahoo said it will run an online public service advertising campaign to educate users about their opt-out options. Users will also be able to access the opt-out feature through a link from these online ads.

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