Not too long ago, Google banned the AdNauseum extension from the Chrome Store. The reason they cited appears to be bogus. They also seem unwilling to discuss the real reason people use ad blockers. It’s not (just) because most online ads are ugly; it’s because they pose a privacy risk.
Advocates insist that ads aren’t just ugly, annoying, and bandwidth-sucking: They pose a risk to privacy, as the networks of software behind ads—cookies, trackers, and malware—watch not only where you go on the web but, through your phone and your purchases, what you do in real life. This data, which helps data brokers better understand you, includes everything from your health to your shopping and financial habits to your political and religious views.
But privacy is largely missing from Google’s discussion of problematic ads, says Howe. By avoiding mentioning AdNauseum’s actual intent, Google’s explanation for banning it echoes the advertising industry’s discussion of web ads, which focuses on aesthetics rather than privacy.
This is why I use Privacy Badger. If a site uses non-tracking ads, Privacy Badger won’t disable the ads. And I’m fine with that. I know ads are a necessary evil. But I don’t want ads to track me around the Internet, so I use Privacy Badger to protect me.