Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT DOES THE ADCHOICES ICON DO?

The AdChoices icon is a sign for consumer information and control for interest-based advertising (which is also referred to as "online behavioural advertising"). When you see the AdChoices icon on a webpage or in an online ad, it lets you know that information used to predict your interests is being gathered or used to improve the ads you see. By clicking on the AdChoices icon, you learn about how interest-based ads are delivered to you. More importantly, the AdChoices icon gives you the ability to control whether you receive interest-based advertising, and from which companies.

Multiple companies use the AdChoices icon to inform you about this type of targeting. It is not a virus, malware, or a program you've installed; it's simply a privacy notice that these companies are giving you using the AdChoices icon. Think of it like a trust seal.

AdChoices is not an advertising company itself and does not collect or use advertising data. The AdChoices self-regulatory program is run by a collection of not-for-profit organizations with the sole purpose of surfacing this type of data collection to consumers and offering them the ability to control it.

WHERE DO YOU FIND THIS ICON?

The AdChoices icon usually appears in the corner of online banner ads that you see while surfing the web and using apps. You may also see the AdChoices icon displayed on webpages or apps where information about your visits may be gathered for the purpose of delivering ads based on your interests.

WHAT IS "INTEREST-BASED ADVERTISING"?

Just what it says: advertising that is delivered to you based on your likely interests. This type of advertising tries to make the ads you see more relevant based on the types of sites that you visit on the web. With interest-based advertising, you receive ads and offers for products and services that are more likely to be useful to you. For example, a sporting goods manufacturer might work with an advertising network that collects and uses interest-based information to deliver ads to the browsers of users that have recently visited sports-related sites. Or an airline might direct ads to users that recently visited travel-themed websites.

HOW IS INFORMATION ABOUT WEB BROWSING USED FOR THIS TYPE OF ADVERTISING?

When you visit particular websites and see particular ads online, information is gathered and stored in your browser with the help of small text files called "cookies." By using this information, companies collecting interest-based data can attempt to predict your likely interests and to determine which ads may be most relevant to serve you next.

CAN I OPT OUT OF INTEREST-BASED ADVERTISING?

Yes. The AdChoices program is all about giving you information and control so that you can make informed choices about the interest-based advertising you receive online. The AdChoices icon - whether in an advertisement or on webpages - gives you access to consumer choice tools where you may, at any time, opt out of the interest-based advertising that you receive from participating companies.

HOW DOES INTEREST-BASED ADVERTISING BENEFIT ME AS A CONSUMER?

Better ads and offers. With interest-based advertising, you get ads that are more interesting, relevant, and useful to you. Those relevant ads improve the online experience and help users find the things that interest them more easily.

There is another benefit for you as well: free or lower-cost products and services. Interest-based advertising supports the Internet itself. Today's websites and online services rely on this type of advertising for revenue so that they can offer a richer array of products and services for lower costs or entirely for free. Every time you check the latest breaking news, use free e-mail services, view weather forecasts, track your favorite stocks or sports team scores, or share photographs and videos on social media, you are seeing the consumer benefits of interest-based advertising at work.

WHAT ORGANIZATION OVERSEES THE ADCHOICES PROGRAM? WHO'S INVOLVED?

The AdChoices self-regulatory program was created and is managed exclusively by a consortium of the leading national advertising and marketing associations in Canada, which have joined together to help ensure the responsible use of consumer information in interest-based advertising. For more information about the DAAC and the participating companies, please visit: youradchoices.ca/participating-companies.