In the new Stack Exchange Cookie Policy:

If you don’t want Stack Overflow to use cookies when you visit the Stack Overflow network of sites, you can opt-out of certain cookie related processing activities in your account settings page. If you opt-out of cookies, we (ironically) have to set a cookie to tell us that. Please note that Stack Overflow may not work properly and you may have diminished functionality if you opt-out of certain cookies.

However, I don't see this option in my account settings. How do I opt out of cookies?

(Side report: it says "Stack Overflow network of sites". I think that should be "Stack Exchange network of sites".)

  • As for "Stack Overflow" vs. "Stack Exchange": the legal name is now "Stack Overflow", it was changed from "Stack Exchange" about a year ago, maybe two years. :) Commented May 22, 2018 at 9:06
  • As for the opt out, most likely it's still half baked: they plan to do that, but didn't have time to get into it just yet. Commented May 22, 2018 at 9:08
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    @ShadowWizard Their legal name is still "Stack Exchange, Inc.". What you're referring to is just a rebranding. Commented May 22, 2018 at 9:08

1 Answer 1


Update: I've added a link in the cookie policy to directly go to your account settings where you can manage providence data collection/processing. It'll build out in the next 10-15 minutes.

It's not our intent to hide anything, we're just improving as we go and welcome suggestions for doing so!

You can opt out of Providence data processing here: /users/prediction-data. It's a button on your account settings: /users/preferences/current. To be clear: the opt out is not "no cookies" (that's a technical disaster and why regulations around this are currently stalled), but we can not process some non-critical ones.

This isn't a new thing, it's been around since we started the providence project to enhance relevancy of all things across the network from ads, to questions, to suggestions. You can also download that data to see it at any time.

I'll suggest we make that text a link if you are logged in, we just didn't want to crowd the banner with a bunch of links to be overwhelming.

  • That's not in my account settings page, like the cookie policy says. Commented May 22, 2018 at 10:13
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    @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog It is. There's a "personalized predicitions" buttons here: /users/preferences/current. I'll update the answer to be more clear. Commented May 22, 2018 at 10:14
  • It's not clear at all that that's the button being referred to by the cookie policy, plus I don't see a link to download data. Commented May 22, 2018 at 10:17
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog Did you click the button? There are only 2 buttons on the page it goes to (the same one I linked in the answer): "Start Download" and "Disable personalized predictions" Commented May 22, 2018 at 10:18
  • I only see one button: "Enable personalized predictions". Commented May 22, 2018 at 10:19
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog Then you have previously opted out. I'll relay to our data team that this is unclear. There's no data to download because you have disabled our collecting of it. Commented May 22, 2018 at 10:20
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    So disabling data collection deletes any existing data collected before I opted out? If not, why do I have to briefly enable it in order to access it? Commented May 22, 2018 at 10:21
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    @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog we remove all the processed data, yes. Your current providence profile (I manually pulled) is: {"Data":{"TotalTagViews":0,"TotalQuestionViews":0,"IsHighRepEarner":false,"TagViews":{},"CampaignViews":{},"InterestingTags":{},"PredictionType":"None"},"Type":"IPerson"}, or in other words: the default no-data-profile for a user the API returns so we don't deal with null refs. I agree we should indicate there's no download because you're opted out and there's nothing to download - I'm out today but I'll try to poke and get someone to add copy to the page. Commented May 22, 2018 at 10:29
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    That page only links to the one for Stack Overflow; does opting out there also opt out on other network sites, or do I have to opt out on all those other sites as well? Commented May 22, 2018 at 20:10
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog nope, the opt-out is account (network-wide) level. It just links relatively to the current site since that's where you're most likely to be logged in. Commented May 23, 2018 at 1:14

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