How Our Opt-Out Cookies Work

When you install DNT+, by default, it adds cookies to your computer. We know this sounds bizarre. These are called "opt out cookies" and there are different opt out cookies for each of the over 100 different online advertising networks. This means that by default, DNT+ adds over 100 different cookies to your computer, each one telling a different advertising network not to serve you behaviorally targeted ads. DNT+ manages these opt out cookies automatically. It adds them all each time you turn on your browser and removes them all when you close it. This ensures your preference not to receive targeted ads is given to ad networks consistently.

You can see these cookies for yourself. Open your browser's cookie manager and you'll see lots of new cookies added. Don't be alarmed! Since they're the same cookies for everybody, they are not generally used to track you.

Every member of the Network Advertising Initiative supports opt out cookies. You can read more about the NAI here:

Can I turn opt out cookies off?

Yes, there's a toggle that turns off and on all opt out cookies. However, there is currently no way to turn off and on specific opt out cookies. Although not common, someone might want to turn off opt out cookies if their antivirus security software kept warning them about tracking cookies, or if they had specific technical concerns about advertisers monitoring users who used opt out cookies. Lastly, the NAI and other advertisers have announced that they'll begin to support browsers "Do Not Track" setting (which DNT+ sends out also) as a universal opt out mechanism in the next 9-12 months. This means we'll likely phase out the use of opt-out cookies all together by 2013. Want to really dive into the technicalities? Read more about the evolving standard here:

When you reopen your browser's cookie manager, all of the opt out cookies will be removed automatically.

Why do I see my security software warning me that it found tracking cookies?

This is a frequently asked question here at Abine and unfortunately, many of the popular security software suites do not know how to differentiate between opt out cookies and tracking cookies. This is primarily because they both come from the exact same advertisers web sites. Over time, we expect security software to "get smarter" about supporting your online privacy. If you see these messages and are using a particular brand of security software, please tell us!

Why do I see the same advertisers "Blocked" that I'm also opting out of?

Well, we like to give consumers choices. You can choose to both send opt out cookies and block the same advertising networks. It's true that this can be redundant, but sometimes having "two layers" of protection can help you see less targeted advertising.