Google launches Chrome extension to see who’s hunting you for targeted ads

Google has just launched a new extension for its Chrome browser. Ads Transparency Spotlight, is supposed to give Internet users more visibility on their data used for targeted ads.

Still under development, this extension in alpha version allows you to get detailed information about the targeted ads on a specific web page. Concretely, it indicates the number of ads loading on a page, the advertisers and advertising tech companies present on the page, as well as the personal data collected (demographic data, re-marketing, interests, location, etc).

google chrome extensio ads transparency spotlight
Here are all the companies present on but all the data are not indexed. / © NextPit

Third-party announcements are not affected (at this time)

«Our new Ads Transparency Spotlight (Alpha) extension for Chrome is part of our ongoing effort to give people greater visibility and control over the data used to customize ads,» wrote Google in the description of its Chrome online store.

Google notes that this first version only contains information about ads from Google that have implemented Google’s Ad Disclosure Schema, and not about other third-party ads. This only applies to advertisers who, through the Ad Disclosure Schema API, are encouraged to be transparent about their use of your data.

In addition to information about the ads, the extension indicates «all companies and services present on the page», including content delivery networks or audience analysis providers. It provides a link to each company’s privacy policy, showing how each company collects and stores user data.

Note that the extension may work differently outside the United States. Several users in Europe could see the advertisers and the number of ads, but not the tracking information for each of them.

Over time, Google says it hopes the rest of the industry will adopt its ad transparency scheme. We believe that.

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