Google Gets Creepier – pre-filled subscribe box in search ad

By , November 7, 2013

This just seems creepy and wrong: Google (AdWords) allows advertisers to create Search ads which pre-fill forms with Google Account data. In this example, my email was pre-filled next to a “subscribe” button which doesn’t say what I’d be subscribing to — alongside a completely meaningless “Privacy” link which doesn’t disclose how the email address would be used.

If you do enter a valid email address and click “Submit,” the form is replaced with this text:

>>  ✔You have successfully subscribed to this newsletter.  <<

No other information is provided.

Nor is any confirmation email sent to the address given (so far — if I get a confirmation email or any other email directed to the coded address I provided, I’ll update this post).

Update, Nov. 14: I received my very first email from CDW today (7 days after submitting the form), titled “Your CDW Email Subscription Is Confirmed,” which certainly makes me wonder what “confirmed” means since there was never any confirmation-request email.  This is NOT “confirmed opt-in.” (I have followed their instructions to “unsubscribe.”)

Here’s a couple of articles from last year mentioning the feature:

 

adwords-subscribe-prefill

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