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Prefer not to receive advertising based on your interests? Learn about your ability to opt out of interest-matched advertising served by Yahoo.

Yahoo! Opt-Out FAQ

Yahoo! Ad Opt-Out FAQ
  1. What kind of information do you use to create interest categories? We use information about your use of our services, including pages you have recently visited on Yahoo!, ads you have viewed and clicked on Yahoo! or that we have delivered to you on other websites, some of the searches you have conducted on Yahoo!, and scanned communications content where consent has been given. The information goes into computer-based algorithmic systems that help us to make an educated guess about your interests.

  2. Does the information about opt-out and interest categories apply to other websites and ad networks or just to Yahoo!? These preferences apply only to the Yahoo! advertising network. Yahoo! serves ads both on Yahoo! and on many other websites. Other ad networks may also serve ads on Yahoo!, but these preferences do not apply to these other ad networks. To see which ad networks serve ads on Yahoo!, visit our page about Third Party and Affiliate Cookies on Yahoo!. You can also see many other opt-out choices by visiting the NAI page.

  3. What does “persistent” mean and how is this related to the opt-out? This opt-out is automatically persistent if you are logged in when you enable it. Persistence means the opt-out will be refreshed each time you sign in to Yahoo!, and that it will apply across multiple browsers and devices used to access Yahoo!. If you aren’t sure about whether you are logged in, you should log in again before returning to the opt-out page.

  4. What are interest categories as they relate to Yahoo! Mail? To make our ads more relevant and useful for you, Yahoo! may make educated guesses about your interests based on your activity on our sites and services. When you use Yahoo! Mail, our automated systems scan and analyze your communications and also the content sent and received from your account to detect, among other things, certain words and phrases (we call them “keywords”) within these communications. In addition to using the keywords to show you contextually relevant content and ads, these keywords may also contribute to our understanding of things that interest you.

  5. What if I don’t want advertising based on the scanning and analysis of my communications content? You can opt out of receiving interest based advertising on the Ad Opt-Out page (accessible throughout Yahoo! Mail and across the Yahoo! network). If you do, then Yahoo!’s automated systems will not scan or analyze your communications content sent and received from your account (including Yahoo! Mail and Messenger content) for such purposes. By opting out of scanned communications content, however, you will also be opting out of other Yahoo! services such as receiving interest-based ads,receiving contextually relevant ads within Yahoo! Mail, receiving contextually relevant content, and more.

  6. What if I declare specific interests with Yahoo!? Opting-out of interest-based advertising and content through the Ad Opt-Out page will not remove the interests you have selected within the declared interest management tools (where available) on Yahoo!. Regardless of your choices within the Ad Opt-Out page, your declared interests will continue to inform the content and ads that are shown to you. If you don’t wish to receive ads or content based on your declared interests, where declared interests are available, simply remove all declared interests from your declared interest management tools.

  7. Can ad interests be based on my searches? Yahoo! may base interest categorization on your search terms in combination with page views and ad interactions – or separately – to determine your ad interests and provide relevant ads based on those interests.

  8. Do you target kids who are under the age of 13 with interest-based advertising? No, Yahoo!’s ad serving systems do not use information about visitors we know to be under the age of 13 to target interest-based advertising. We also do not create categories intended to target kids under the age of 13.

  9. Do you use sensitive health information for interest-based advertising? Health is a broad category with many subcategories. We believe that all health categories are not the same, so we examine each individually. Some types of health conditions, such as sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, cancer, and mental health disorders, do not have interest categories represented in our advertising systems. Others, like cold and flu, dental, heartburn, and allergies do have interest categories represented in our advertising systems.

    If you would like to receive information based on sensitive categories such as some health-related conditions, where available, you can select those interests in your interest management tools. This declaration is a signal to us that you are explicitly interested in this category as a subject for both content and advertising. Where declared interests are available, de-selecting a subject from the media interest tray in the your declared interest management tools will turn the experience off for that subject.

  10. Do you share my interest categories with advertisers or other websites? No. But an airline advertiser might want to show ads for vacation destinations to Yahoo! visitors who have shown an interest in those destinations. The advertiser gives us information about the audience they would like to reach. We show their ad on our sites and across our ad network to people who match the characteristics they have given us. We do not share lists of users with advertisers or other websites when an advertiser works with us on a customized ad campaign.

  11. Can I opt out of ads entirely? No. Like most websites, Yahoo! is supported by advertising. The majority of the products and services we offer, such as web-based email with unlimited storage, photo sharing on Flickr, Yahoo! News and Finance, and many other services, are largely free of charge to you because we display advertising. Other websites also partner with Yahoo! to show ads on their sites to support what they offer.

  12. I don’t accept third-party cookies in my browser. Can I still opt out? If your browser does not accept third-party cookies or if you have a browser with specific privacy controls that you have edited to delete cookies after each session, you may not be able to opt out. Opt-outs rely on cookies to operate. But this should not concern you, because not accepting third-party cookies or allowing only session cookies prevents advertising customization.

  13. Sometimes my opt-out choice seems to disappear. Do I have to opt out over and over? Opt-outs are cookie based, so you can inadvertently delete them when you delete cookies on your browser or if you have antispyware software installed that deletes cookies regularly. If you have a Yahoo! account, you can associate your opt-out with your account so that it is refreshed each time you sign in to Yahoo!. There are other tools available that will restore opt-out cookies that you can install for your browser.

  14. If I delete my cookies, will my opt-out choice be deleted too? Yes, if you do not use the persistent opt-out that can be associated with a Yahoo! account. You'll have to check the opt-out page from time to time to ensure your opt-out is still active. But if you have enabled the persistent opt-out, your choice will be maintained. The opt-out will be reset the next time you sign in.

  15. Do I need to have a Yahoo! account to opt out? No, you can opt out without having a Yahoo! account or without signing in to your account. Just click the opt-out button. You will need to opt out separately for each browser that you use and check back from time to time to ensure that your opt-out was not deleted. This is a bit more work for you, so if you have a Yahoo! account, we encourage you to use the persistent opt-out feature.

  16. Can I undo my opt-out if I want more relevant ads? Yes, you can simply change your choice on our Ad Opt-Out page.

  17. When do my Yahoo! cookies expire and what kind of cookies are they? Yahoo!’s policy is that an opt-out cookie expires 20 years after the date it was set. All other Yahoo! cookies should expire two years after they are set.

    Yahoo! uses standard browser cookies for advertising customization. Yahoo! does not use “Flash Cookies” or other “local shared objects” for interest-based advertising. Read more about Yahoo!’s use of cookies.

  18. How long does Yahoo! keep interest categories and the data used to create them? Ad customization categories are a rolling average of a person’s interest. This means they change over time based on a person’s most recent activity on Yahoo!. Most categories have a lifespan of anywhere from a few days to a few months. We tend to believe people are more likely to be interested in ads that reflect more recent visits and activity.
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