I’ve now had conﬁrmation from the Network Advertising Initiative that Google has, indeed, been dodgy about its Ads Preferences Manager.
Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention. We were able to reproduce the issues you saw and have been working with Google for the last week to address them. I am happy to report that as of this morning the identiﬁed bugs have been corrected.
It has taken a few weeks for the NAI to respond, and for me to send them my proof (screen shots), but we’ve managed to keep Google honest.
What surprises me is that sixty-plus members of the NAI have had no problem, but Google apparently lacked the expertise to make an opt-out cookie that keeps a user opted out.
I can’t really believe that, because, as I wrote in an earlier post, I reckon this has been going on for years, and that Google has always known about it. I am no expert, but my gut says it takes a greater effort to make opt-out cookies that pretend to expire in 2030 but don’t.
Unless we are to believe that Google is very weak on privacy—given the débâcle over Buzz in February 2010, it probably is.
As with Firefox and all the other bugs I’ve found on the internet, it’s just nice to be believed. My thanks to the NAI for investigating and dealing with this issue.
As it is supposedly ﬁxed, pop by to your Google Ads Preferences Manager one last time. If you’re opted back in again, this might be the last time you need to opt out. Though I will keep an eye on mine—I still don’t trust those buggers. Thank goodness I don’t.