Transparent ads in Edge: learn how websites use your personal info to display ads

On the official Tech Community forums, Microsoft announced a new tool to provide users with a better understanding of how ad companies use personal data to display ads.


The new “Transparent ads” feature will show users what personal data ad companies use to display a specific ad on your current page. Microsoft says it will help people understand why they see banners and understand their origin. For example, Edge can tell you that you see an ad because the provider used your location or interests.

The new “Transparent ads” flyout will display information about ad providers enrolled in the Transparent Ads Provider program. Microsoft says the participants are contractually required to meet strict privacy requirements. That makes them exempt from the Edge’s tracking prevention feature set to Balanced mode.

The “Transparent ads” feature is currently available for preview on a test page in Edge Canary. If you use Microsoft Edge Canary, you can test the “Transparent ads” feature in the latest version of the browser. Navigate to this demo page and click the button with a tab and a user icon. Microsoft Edge will open a new flyout with all the information if can detect.

Edge Transparent Ads

How Transparents Ads Work in Microsoft Edge

The Transparent Ads flyout includes the following information.

  • See which ad provider is a part of the Transparent Ad Provider program.
  • See which ad provider is responsible for a specific banner.
  • See information about the data an ad provider collected or inferred to personalize the ad.
  • See the sites that an ad provider tracked the user across.
  • Visit the ad provider’s page to delete or de-identify any previously collected data.
  • Disable transparent ads in Microsoft Edge settings. When disabled, approved providers will not collect personal data in Microsoft Edge for personalized advertising.

Microsoft claims “Transparent ads” will help the industry move to more privacy-preserving techniques and give users more control over their data.

Unfortunately, the company does not say when it plans to make the new feature available on websites other than the demo page.

In case you missed it, Microsoft recently introduced a reworked page in the Edge browser, where users can see what companies track them on the Internet.

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Author: Taras Buria

Taras is here to cover stories about Microsoft and everything around, although sometimes he prefers Apple. You can stay in touch with him on Twitter.

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