Who Does Google Think You Are?

Ever wonder how Google figures out which ads it is going to flash at you? To see who Google thinks you are, you can check out your Google demographic profile by clicking over to http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/. The interest categories appear to be updated regularly based upon what sites have been visited over the past few days, but the inferred demographics do not seem to change as much. Here is Google’s stalking profile for me:

While my age demographic has been correctly pegged, apparently Google thinks I’m actually a dude. At least for the moment, under the user history for this particular browser.

I guess it is sort of comforting that Google isn’t using my Google account or my Google+ profile — which correctly identifies me as female — or any other Google profile I have to figure out what web ads to direct at me. According to Google’s Privacy Policy for Google Ads, it looks like the ads Google generates are not based upon anyone’s individual Google accounts, but rather the web activity on each individual browser or device. So while you’re not exactly anonymous, it at least provides the comforting illusion that Google is not stalking everything you do.


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