Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue

By admin
Reddit announced privacy related changes

today
DATE

that make things worse for many privacy conscious users. The announcement by

Reddit
ORG

‘s head of privacy lists a number of changes regarding privacy, advertisement on

Reddit
ORG

and location settings.

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Reddit states: "We’re updating preference descriptions for clarity, adding the ability to limit ads from specific categories, and consolidating ad preferences. The aim is to simplify our privacy descriptions, improve ad performance, and offer new controls for the types of ads you prefer not to see".

While that sounds like good measures based on the statement, it is not. Reading on, Reddit informs users in

one
CARDINAL

section that it is "removing the ability to opt-out of ad personalization" based on a user’s Reddit history.

Advertisers may use the Reddit activity of a user for advertising. Reddit notes that this will roll out to all users, "expect in select countries". The company does not list the exceptions, but it could refer to

EU
ORG

countries, as the ruling may be in violation of

the General Data Protection Regulation
ORG

(GDPR).

Reddit users who don’t reside in

one
CARDINAL

of the exception countries can’t opt-out anymore of ad personalization. In other words,

Reddit
PRODUCT

will use the activity, which includes subscriptions and votes on threads, to push advertising to the user’s system.

Reddit users who opted-out explicitly in the past will be opted-in automatically. Users won’t see more ads and

Reddit
ORG

claims that the new system won’t be "sharing on-platform activity with advertisers".

Reddit users may load the Safety & Privacy settings page on the site to control the available settings.

There, they may opt-out of the personalization of advertisement at the moment. This personalization options will not be available to most users on the platform once the change lands. Users from exception countries will retain options to opt-out of ad personalization on

Reddit
PRODUCT

.

Reddit has made a few changes in the recent past that give it more control over the platform and user data. The company practically forced

third
ORDINAL

-party Reddit clients into discontinuation when it hiked API prices significantly in a short period of time. This was done to push the official

Reddit
PRODUCT

application and advertising revenue, as the official app does not support ad blocking.

The new move to disallow opting out of ad personalization is another attempt at increasing the site’s profitability. Reddit is still planning to go public, but it is unclear if the

IPO
ORG

is going to happen in

2023
DATE

.

Privacy is going to take a turn in the wrong direction for

Reddit
ORG

users who have opted-out of ad personalization in the past and do not live in a country exempt from the new ruling. Reddit users may resort to using content blockers to block advertisement on the platform. On mobile, browsers like

Firefox
ORG

do support extensions and may be used for that purpose, provided that

Reddit
PRODUCT

is not enforcing usage of its application on mobile devices.

Now You: do you use Reddit? Are you affected by the change?

Summary Article Name Reddit enforces user activity tracking on site to push advertising revenue

Description Reddit
ORG

announced plans to remove the ability to opt-out of ad personalizations on the platform for most users. Author

Martin Brinkmann
PERSON

Publisher Ghacks Technology News Logo

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