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Google says you have more control over ads. You may, but does it matter?

Google announced a slew of updates to give users more control over the ads they see on the platform. Or to put it another way, Google is trying to improve targeted advertising by giving users the illusion of greater control. These settings have always existed but Google has given them a fresh coat of paint and dressed them up in its material design UI. In a blog post by Product Head Philippe de Lurand Pierre-Paul, Google says it is trying to "build products and tools to help you manage that experience" since users have told them over the years that "transparency and control over your data and ad experience are important". What are the updates? What control have I gotten? The updates are a few, the control isn't much. The updates are basically tweaks in how Google advertises to each user based on the following: your Google Account information, your activity while you're logged into Google, ad partners who give information to Google when you visit their website (say you visited Amazon to buy headphones, Amazon tells that to Google, and then Google shows you headphone ads henceforth). Also, remember that since you can log in every useful website via Google, the search giant is able to collect that info as well. Sample this from Google's blog post: For example, if you watched highlights from a recent soccer match on YouTube or searched “soccer fields near me” you might see an ad for a slick pair of soccer shorts. If…

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