AdChoices, interest based advertising

AdChoices, interest based advertising

Did you ever notice the AdChoices icon while you were surfing?

Ads like these show up all across the Internet. Sometimes our customer support staff receive queries from our customers because we don’t remove “AdChoices”.


The reason is actually very simple, the “AdChoices” advertisements that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware can’t remove are originating from the site you are visiting.

This may seem strange since you will often notice they are based on searches or interests you have shown on other sites.

This is called “interest-based advertising”. But because of this people often get the impression that the source must be something on their own computer rather than on the site they’re looking at.

Partially they are right since interest-based advertising can be based on information found in (f.e. “Doubleclick”) cookies stored on your computer, apps you have installed, browser history and profiles you have filled out. But it does not mean that there is any “AdChoices” software on your computer.

The “Adchoices” program is managed and regulated by the “Digital Advertising Alliance” branches. There are several of them listed by region in this Adsense help article. A very long list of participating companies can be found at the adchoices site.

If you’ve had enough of interest-based ads, “Google” offers you an opt-out of interest based “Google” ads in this article. It offers several different opt-out options.



If you do not want to see any advertisements on the sites you visit at all, you should look into installing an adblocker. Good examples would be AdBlock Plus (make sure to get the real one) , AdMuncher or Ghostery.

You may also find this article about cookies interesting, especially the section about controlling and deleting unwanted cookies.


Adchoices is not something that is installed on your computer, but it is an interest-based advertisement program that uses some of the personal data you have left behind on the internet.

More information:


Youradchoices FAQ


Pieter Arntz

Malware Intelligence Researcher

Was a Microsoft MVP in consumer security for 12 years running. Can speak four languages. Smells of rich mahogany and leather-bound books.