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Google announces new behaviorally targeted ad program

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Mountain View, Calif.—Google announced Wednesday it is launching an enhanced form of behavioral targeting for online display and text advertising that will appear on both its own sites and those of its advertising partners.

Google is calling the new program, which is being beta-tested on its partner sites and YouTube, “interest-based advertising.” Instead of simply displaying ads based on the content of the page being viewed, Google’s new program will display ads based on an individual’s Internet browsing history.

“This kind of tailored advertising does raise questions about user choice and privacy—questions the whole online ad industry has a responsibility to answer,” Susan Wojcicki, Google’s VP-product management, wrote in a blog announcing the new program. Google said that it will respect users’ privacy in part by enabling them to opt out of the program.

—Sean Callahan

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