For your anonymous surfing pleasure, here are quick links to opt out of the 3rd-party tracking cookies issued by some of the large banner-ad networks. Some of these links go to an opt-out form, which you must click or submit; others do the opt-out automatically. You may wish to open these in new windows (MacOS users: command-click to do this easily in iCab, IE, Opera, or Navigator).
AtlasDMT, Advertising.com, CoreMetrics (scroll to the bottom), DoubleClick, Enliven, Hitbox,
24/7 Media claims to have an opt-out tool, but instead links to networkadvertising.org, which is an alliance of online advertisers that does not have your best interests in mind. (They claim that Web advertising is critical to the vitality of the Web! Gad.) Further, networkadvertising.org does not have an opt-out for 24/7 tracking cookies. UPDATE (5/30/01) — networkadvertising.org has launched a new site that lists additional opt-outs from its members.
Opting out is an imperfect solution to the threats to your privacy — but it’s the best we have. The alternative, disabling cookies entirely, will prevent you from using some websites, e.g. buy.com, E*Trade, AmeriTrade, MicroWarehouse, CDW, Yahoo Mail or most other services that require you to log in. Some other popular sites can be used when you have cookies disabled, but the site’s functionality is limited (e.g. Amazon, Ebay).