While recent study results from the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) suggest that consumers prefer targeted to random online ads, a new Microsoft-supported survey [PDF] from Consumer Action finds that internet users overwhelmingly disagree with the premise that they find online tracking to be harmless if it results in their being shown more relevant ads. With the vast majority of Americans feeling that they’ve lost control of their privacy online, the right to control the information collected about them online shows up as very important to the survey respondents.
Of course, both surveys from the DAA and Consumer Action are to some extent agenda-driven, and the apparent differences in attitudes in the studies can be chalked up in some part to wording of survey questions. For example, the Consumer Action survey asks consumers if they “see no harm” in being tracked online. With most disagreeing, it’s possible that they see harm in it, but are willing to accept it. In fact, more than half of the respondents strongly (28%) or somewhat (27%) agreed with the statement: “You believe that being tracked online is the price of using the internet.” Read the rest at MarketingCharts.