- Mar 29, 2018
Microsoft introduced a new feature that it calls Transparent Ads in the latest Microsoft Edge Canary build. Transparent Ads are designed "to raise the bra no transparency and control with new privacy standards for personalized ads on the web" according to Microsoft.
Transparent Ad are designed to help Internet users understand "why they're seeing specific ads and where they came from". Besides the ability to look up information, such as the name of the ad provider, the information the provider used to display the ads, and the sites that the ad provider tracked a user on, users get control over their data. Microsoft notes that users may "delete or de-identify any previously collected data", provided that the ad provider joined the Transparent Ad program.
Ad providers need to join the Transparent Ads Providers program; the program requires them to meet the privacy requirements of the program. In return, providers are exempt from the balanced tracking prevention option of the Microsoft Edge browser. In other words: more ads will be displayed to Edge users as the default blocking mode, balanced, won't block these ads anymore.
Edge users may click on the new "ads on this page" icon in the browser's address bar to look up information about ad companies that are members of the program and have displayed ads on the active page.
The information includes the name of the provider, the list of ads displayed by the provider, the data the provider used to display the ads, and a "more details" link, which opens the page of the company in the Edge privacy settings.
Providers need to meet certain requirements to join the program:
The full requirements are available here.
- The ability for users to contact the company serving personalized ads
- For ad serving partners (i.e. demand-side platforms), provide users with a clear indication when they are seeing an ad while browsing
- Provide browser-consumable metadata on each ad
- Ensure ad slots are marked with a unique identifier.
- Do not collect user data on receipt of an opt-out header sent by the browser
- Provide a data dashboard where the user can manage personal data collected by the ad provider.
- Honor users' choices for data control.
- Any data collection must meet the Microsoft privacy and data protection policies and comply with all applicable laws and regulations related to the collection and use of personal data.
How to disable Microsoft Edge's Transparent Ads featureMicrosoft Edge users who don't want transparent ads to be displayed in Edge while Balanced mode is enabled, have two main options to disable the functionality.
Option 1:Switch to Strict Tracking Prevention Mode
Transparent Ads are displayed only when the Balanced Tracking Protection mode is enabled. One option that users have is to switch to Strict mode instead. Strict mode blocks more trackers on sites. Strict mode may cause issues on some sites, but there is an option to add exceptions to make these sites work.
Here is how you enable Strict mode in Edge:
- Load edge://settings/privacy in the browser's address bar.
- Switch to Strict under Tracking Prevention on the page that opens.
Option 2: Disable Transparent Ads in Edge
Transparent Ads can be disabled directly in Edge. Please note that the disabling won't reduce the number of ads that users see, just that ads may be more generic as certain information about users, e.g. gained through tracking, may not be available to the ad provider.
Do the following to disable the feature:
- Load edge://settings/privacy/trackers in the browser's address bar.
- Disable "Allow companies that meet Microsoft's strict privacy requirements" at the top of the page.
Microsoft tries to balance advertisement and the growing privacy needs of users with its Ad Transparency program. Users get details on ads, for instance why an ad was displayed and options to delete data associated with them, and providers get the ability to show personalized ads based on certain standards to users while Edge's Balanced tracking prevention mode is active.
Now You: what is your take on the Transparent Ads program? (via Leopeva64-2)