Google Gives Android Users the Option to Make AdMob Less 'Mob' Like
Android Central has unearthed an invisible update to the Android Market that allows users to opt-out of interest-based ads. It's always welcome news when we are given more control over our privacy, but it would have been a little bit nicer if the change was actually announced so people would know about it. Basically, this new update allows you to choose whether or not the anonymous information Google collects about your mobile habits can be shared with 3rd party advertisers.
If you follow Google's link to find out more information, you find yourself at self-contained page that outlines the basics of how Google protects your privacy in relation to mobile ads. Unlike traditional web browsing, most of what takes place on mobile is done through apps. This means that tracking cookies don’t work as well on mobile. Instead, Google relies on data passed on through ads from Google AdSesnse or AdMob to create a profile of your interests. This is not only used for targeted advertising, but to determine spam, eliminate frequent duplicate ads, and tracking conversion rates. And Google says they are protecting any personally identifiable information from advertisers by creating an "anonymous ID" which cannot be traced back to you. In fact, you can change your anonymous ID at any time.
Personally, I'm not too bothered if I'm targeted by advertisers. I may end up seeing an ad I want. But, if all that makes you uncomfortable, you can just opt-out of any targeted advertising whatsoever. You may end up receiving ads that you don't care about or find yourself staring at the same ad 20 times, but you'll be comforted by knowing your information is safe...at least from Google.
Visit Google's information page on targeted ads and opting out: http://www.google.com/ads/preferences/html/mobile-about.html