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BizReport : Advertising archives : March 01, 2011

Study: Consumers need understanding of data collection

Analysts say consumer definitely do not want to have data collected during their browser sessions. But a new report from PubMatic disagrees. According to their research consumers are more will to be tracked anonymously once they understand what that actually means.

by Kristina Knight

So, it would seem that consumers are confused about what anonymous data collection is.

The report, Audience Selling for Publishers, finds that about half of consumers who initially object to data collection change their tunes once the collection purposes are explained to them. How big a problem is the understanding of data collection? Researchers found that 71% of consumers 'know' their behavior may be tracked online but only 40% understood that the tracking was anonymous.

Other interesting findings include:

• 64% 'initially disapprove' of anonymous data collection
• 40% approve of anonymous data collection once the actual uses are explained
• Consumers are interested in data collection when they understand it provides more relevant ads and subsidizes content

"The Internet user, the online publisher audience, is the center of our data-driven advertising ecosystem and their privacy is paramount. Whether it is through self-regulation or legislation, when given a choice about anonymous tracking, Internet users deserve to have all the facts about how it works and the benefits they derive from it before making a decision," said PubMatic CEO Rajeev Goel. "Once they are appropriately armed with this information, they should have the means at their disposal to easily implement a 'do-not-track' option if they prefer to, or not to."

The study was conducted by Knowledge Networks for PubMatic; researchers surveyed 500 Internet users.

Tags: ad targeting, anonymous data collection, online advertising, PubMatic, relevant ads

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  • True, Nick. When people understand what goes into legitimate tracking and collection, they tend to want more.

  • This is a good example of why transparency is critical to maintaining consumer trust. Once people understand how data collection really works, it's not as intimidating or frightening. When consumers know that data collection is designed to make a better online experience for them, they stop fighting it.



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