"Opt Out" option for Individually Targeted Advertising per Privacy Policy?

I just noticed this paragraph in the Privacy Policy. Perhaps I had not read it carefully since its last update.

Have we received an “opt out” mechanism for this type of individual account targeted advertising? Per the Policy, I guess if we haven’t received the opt-out option, it is because such advertising is currently not “enabled”?

Advertisers: We may allow advertisers and/or merchant partners (“Advertisers”) to choose the users who will see their advertisements and/or promotional offers. You agree that we may provide any of the information we have collected from you in non-personally identifiable form to an Advertiser, in order for that Advertiser to select the appropriate audience for those advertisements and/or offers. For example, we might use the fact you are located in San Francisco to show you ads or offers for San Francisco businesses, but we will not tell such businesses who you are. In addition to the foregoing, if you have not opted out of our targeted advertising feature as described below, you agree that we may share your personally identifiable information with Advertisers in order to deliver specific targeted advertising or offers to you (“Targeted Advertising”). For example, we might share with our Advertisers the fact that a moisture sensor that you have connected to our Services has detected a flood in order to show you ads or offers for local plumbing services. If we enable Targeted Advertising for our users by default, you will be able to opt out of Targeted Advertising at any time by changing your personal settings. [emphasis mine]

We may deliver a file to you through the Services (known as a “web beacon”) from an ad network. Web beacons allow ad networks to provide anonymized, aggregated auditing, research and reporting for us and for advertisers. Web beacons also enable ad networks to serve targeted advertisements to you when you visit other websites. Because your web browser must request these advertisements and web beacons from the ad network’s servers, these companies can view, edit, or set their own cookies, just as if you had requested a web page from their site.

Standard disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, I am not your lawyer, I am not SmartThings’ lawyer, etc. etc. etc.

That’s correct Terry, we have no advertising enabled on our platform and as such do not have an opt-out mechanism for such nonexistent advertising.

1 Like

Wouldn’t it be more clear to just leave out the entire clause then? Or preemptively provide the opt out capability that’s described? I’m just easily confused or easily concerned.

They are required by US law to describe their opt out policy even if there aren’t any sharing programs in place.

There’s not a lot you can do about this kind of legalese, it’s pretty standard. You can always ask for plain language clarifications, but I don’t think you can get rid of the original.

1 Like

That certainly sounds like it makes sense! Probably some lawyer-y thing. My status as vice president of my high school mock trial team doesn’t qualify me to provide you with an answer :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

OK… I’d say “nevermind… Forget I asked…”; but I have to note that this paragraph has been pointed out to me by some potential customers as a reason they are avoiding SmartThings. They don’t want to find that they unintentionally bought an intrusive “sponsored app”, and unfortunately the legal wording doesn’t matter.

That strikes me as a strange reason to avoid the product. The sentence you’ve highlighted actually empowers the consumer. As I read it, it says “if we decide to start using targetted advertising, we’ll provide a means for you to avoid getting said advertising” - that’s a good thing from my perspective as a consumer and non-advertiser.


I agree.

But I find it understandable that my friends that would prefer hints of potentially intrusive advertising not exist in the user policies at all. It may be par for the course these days, though it doesn’t assuage folks that would rather not have their event data in the cloud.

I think the issue is we cant opt out of the (non-existent) non-targeted advertisements; only the targeted ones. Hopefully SmartThings never, EVER goes down this route. Nothing worse than seeing freakin ads everywhere. It is bad enough half of my TV time is completely wasted on commercials.

I think that there will be a big disappointment in your future.

1 Like

Consider this report from Intel:

Intel on the smart home: “Let’s not be sneaky”

This whole topic seems to be a bit of a moot point. We don’t do any targeted or untargeted advertising at this time. When/if we do, there will be an opt out option. Pretty clear and simple.


Unfortunately, I’m not a lawyer, so it isn’t clear and simple to me. Why mention the opt out if it is currently irrelevant?

Will the opt out be offered before the first ad campaign or after? Will opt out affect the services provided?

I know, Ben, that you have no “sneaky” intentions, but the Terms imply that Advertising is in the foreseeable future and rather than being a Customer focused convenient “opt IN”, it will require a possibly onerous action to opt OUT.

I agree that this is a proactive, preemptive, and low priority discussion… Though have no idea when it becomes relevant, since the pre-notice time frame for Advertising is not stated.