Saturday, September 09, 2023

Please accept an invasion into your privacy....

Big brother is watching! Or is he...?
The title of this post is this very tongue-in-cheek. You might have noticed that AQ will now "sometimes" display a pop-up window like every single other website on the Internet about your privacy settings. For the most part, you can blame Europe for this since those are mostly about following European laws. As an American business primarily doing business with North American consumers, I've generally ignored it. I'm not even entirely sure if it applies to all websites or just for companies of a certain size. (Seems kind of like a waste to go after individuals who happen to be running a small, personal website.)

However.... I use Google AdSense to display Google ads (at least for you non-premium members out there!), and Google is going to require that websites have these pop-ups to comply with European laws or they'll stop serving ads completely. Thus.... I had them activated through my Google AdSense account.

You can actually deny consent--that just means Google can't serve ads that they believe are tailored specifically to you. The website will still work, however, even though AQ uses cookies to remember who you are. The consent form is more about "third-party cookies" (or even "second-party cookies"?). In any case, none of it applies to cookies that AQ uses just to remember who you are from page to page.

If you are a premium member and are set to auto-login whenever you visit the site, I don't think you'll see the consent form at all. It's tied to the Google Ads and premium members don't see Google Ads, so the AdSense code doesn't go into pages for premium members. And if you've clicked the button to auto-login, there won't be a chance for Google Ads to show up before you log into your account. So premium members set to auto-login may never see the consent form. It's new to me too, though, so maybe I'm wrong about that. Google Is Everywhere. They're probably watching you read this post right now. (They own Blogger, which is what this blog uses.) Maybe using a Chrome browser (brought to you by Google) will cause that consent form to pop up? I don't really know.

It might even be possible that the consent form pops up after already clicking through several pages on AQ since there are not Google Ads on every page. If you go to the main AQ home page at -- where there are no Google Ads -- you could run a search for letterboxes then get the pop-up consent because the search results have a Google Ad at the bottom of the page. It won't necessarily pop up on the first page you see on AQ because of that.

I've also enabled these consent forms for all my other websites that display Google Ads such as Walking 4 Fun and The Soda Can Stove . doesn't use Google Ads so it'll be spared the consent form annoyance for the time being. (I don't have any plans to add Google Ads to that website, but who knows how privacy laws in the future will develop and even though I don't plan to add Google Ads to, I'm not making any promises that it'll never happen. That website does need to at least pay for itself.)

But in any case, nothing on AQ has really changed because of the consent form. Nothing in the privacy policy has changed, I'm not out selling your email address, or sharing private information in your AQ account to Google or anything. It's all about just making sure the Google Ads will continue to work for non-premium members. Gotta keep the lights on somehow! I'd just as soon prefer premium memberships than messing with advertisements, but for those who can't afford a premium membership or prefer not to for some reason, Google ads are the alternative way to help support Atlas Quest financially.

One of the unsung perks of premium membership.... more privacy for you! =)

1 comment:

Lou Catozzi (PI Joe) said...

Ryan, thnx again for "keeping the lights on" over at (LbNA).