New Truste App Offers Ad Preference Controls

A day after Facebook introduced expanded ad targeting based on the sites and apps users visit, privacy solutions provider Truste announced an updated app designed to give consumers more control over the types of ads they see.

The Truste app allows people to opt out of behaviorally targeted ads, as well as select what interest-based ad categories they’re willing to see, such as auto, career, dating, finance and games. A “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” icon in the app next to each category lets users indicate their ad preferences.

The app serves as an alternative to people clicking on the AdChoices icon in individual ads to opt of behaviorally targeted ads and manage ad interests in a single place. A prior version of the Truste app launched earlier this year allowed users to opt out of targeted ads altogether, but not remove or add specific interest categories for ads.



“Now we’re making it simpler for consumers to manage all those preferences in one app, instead of going through each separate ad on different Web sites,” said a Truste spokesperson. People can also use the app to opt out of -- or into -- getting ads from specific ad networks and companies such as 33Across, Accordant Media and BrightRoll.

In three months of field tests, Truste said 90% of consumers chose to share their interests. Of those, half selected multiple interests, with 80% selecting the types of interest-based ads they did or didn’t want to see.

The top five categories consumers chose to receive ads about were technology, games, news, travel and health. The most common verticals that they didn’t want to receive ads about were dating, auto, career, finance and education.

With its rollout of expanded ad targeting based on users’ travels around the Web, Facebook said it will allow people to opt out through the AdChoices program run by the self-regulatory group Digital Advertising Alliance. It will not honor the do-not-track setting desktop that users can send through their browsers.

The social network also introduced an ad preferences tool that allows Facebook users to remove or add various types of ad categories, similar to the controls in the Truste app.

Later this month, the app will be updated to include an Ad Relevance score, showing “how relevant their advertising experience is” based on their choices. In short, the more a consumer opts out of interest-based ads, the lower the score. The more they opt in, the higher the score.

Truste plans to promote the app, which is available in the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore, through social media, search engine marketing and search engine optimization, as well as its own Web page.

How many people will proactively download the app to manage Web privacy is the big question. As of Friday, the app had not yet received enough ratings in the App Store to get an average rating, while in the Google PlayStore, it has received only three reviews, with an average of three stars.

Truste-competitor Evidon last year launched its own iOS app called Ad Control that allows users to opt out of behavioral targeting by mobile ad networks.


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