a blog post today, Twitter announced that they're "experimenting with
new ways of targeting ads," which is their way of saying they're
planning to track you around the web—even when you leave Twitter—and
relay that information to advertisers to craft better ads. Here's how to
If this sounds familiar, it should. Twitter started experimenting with this kind of off-site tracking a year ago,
only then it wasn't explicitly opt-out. Twitter already uses things
like Follow buttons and social widgets on websites to see where its
logged in users go after they leave Twitter itself, but now they're
putting it in print, and that's actually a good thing.
To turn off Twitters new tracking:
- Log in to Twitter and visit your account settings page.
- Uncheck the box that says "Tailor Twitter based on my recent website visits."
- Uncheck the box that says "Tailor ads based on information shared by ad partners."
- Scroll down and click "Save Changes."
On the bright side, at least Twitter is being above board with its changes (unlike Facebook when they started doing the same thing)—they say that users won't see more ads on Twitter, just better ones, as a result of the tracking.
time, it's one thing to use data collected while someone uses your
service to improve your advertising—it's another to continue collecting
data when someone leaves your service in order to improve your
advertising. Still, opting out is easy, and we suggest you do it as soon
as possible. For more tips on how to protect yourself from this kind of
tracking, check out our guide to stopping everyone from tracking you on the web, and the best browser tools to protect your privacy.