Latest Google Chrome Extension to Show Detailed Ad-Tracking Data

Tech giant Google has released a Chrome extension that gives users insight into how they are being targeted by advertisers. This new extension has been named “Ads Transparency Spotlight,” and shows the number of ads loading on a page, the advertisers and ad tech companies present, and the personal data (demographics, re-marketing, interests, location, etc.) that is being used to serve the ads.

In its description on the Chrome web store, Google states that “Our new Ads Transparency Spotlight (Alpha) extension for Chrome is part of our ongoing initiative to give people more visibility into the data used to personalize ads and more control over that data.” 

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Google has also noted that this early version only shows information about Google-served ads that have implemented Google’s “Ad Disclosure Schema,” and not other third-party ads. That scheme is designed to help all of its advertisers disclose how they’re using personal information, according to Google’s Github page. 

On top of showing ad information, the extension shows “all companies and services with a presence on the page,” including content delivery networks or analytics providers. It provides a link to each company’s privacy policy, showing how each collects and stores user data. The extension may work differently in regions outside the US.