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BizReport : Research archives : April 01, 2008

Internet users wary of behavioral tracking

The increasing use of behavioral targeting isn’t going un-noticed by Internet users, according to a new study.

by Helen Leggatt

Almost three-quarters (71%) of Internet users surveyed by TNS Global for Truste, a non-profit privacy organization, were aware that their web browsing activities were being tracked. They also knew that the data collected would be channeled in to sending them targeted ads.

Seventy-two percent of Internet users said they found irrelevant ads annoying and intrusive. Yet 57% aren’t happy with being tracked, despite knowing their personal data isn’t being revealed and that they will receive more relevant ads as a result. Over half delete their cookies, often two or three times a month.

Internet users are prepared to take the steps necessary to increase their online privacy when the tools are made available – so said 91% of respondents to the Truste survey.

"We have a solid indication that consumers want us to find a way to get them the advertising that is relevant to them," said Fran Maier, executive director of TRUSTe. "In order to do this, behavioral targeting is one of the most promising methods, but at the very least, it has to be made more transparent, provide choices, and deliver real value."

Tags: behavioral targeting, online advertising, privacy

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