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Research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and the Berkeley Centre for Law and Technology has found that 66% of adult US citizens do not want advertising to be tailored to what advertisers think are their interests.
Privacy advocates said the research would give authorities a political green light to enact reasonable rules and policies.
The US Congress is considering such legislation, it was revealed after a coalition of 10 privacy campaigners published a 13-page report about behavioural tracking.
The full report is available:
Title: Contrary to what marketers say, Americans Reject Tailored Advertising and three activities that enable it.
Authors: Joseph Turow, Jennifer King, Chris Jay Hoofnagle, Amy Bleakley, and Michael Hennessy
Contrary to what many marketers claim, most adult Americans (66%) do not want marketers to tailor advertisements to their interests. Moreover, when Americans are informed of three common ways that marketers gather data about people in order to tailor ads, even higher percentagesó between 73% and 86%--say they would not want such advertising.
And if you think your "facebook/mysapce/... " generation audience cares less, you might be right, but still the majority is against it:
Our survey did find that younger American adults
are less likely to say no to tailored advertising than are older ones. Still, more than half (55%) of 18-24 year-olds do not want tailored advertising.
And if you count on mercy, the respondents are quite unforgiving when it does go wrong:
Beyond a fine, companies that use a personís information illegally might be punished in other ways. Which one of the following ways to punish companies do you think is most important?
The company should fund efforts to help people protect privacy 38
Executives who are responsible should face jail time 35
The company should be put out of business 18
The company should not be published in any of these ways 3
It depends 2
So, have you opted out of interest based ads yet ?
Or are you ready to face a jury where 66% hates what you do and more than half wants you to either serve time or go out of business if it does goes wrong (there is now a very low cap of $2500) ?
[edited by: swa66 at 7:59 am (utc) on Oct. 2, 2009]
The actual question "Would It be OK or not OK if these ads were tailored for you based on what you did on other websites you have visited." [page 15 of the report] Seems very relevant to Adsense interest based ads. And the rejection was far higher than the 66% that doesn't want any tailoring of ads, it was at 84% ...
I did opt out of it -as far as one can get out- from the beginning as well. I'm quite unsure it's legal for me to participate in this due to our strict privacy laws (Belgium).
Given the parallels between your laws ( Belgium ) and mine ( France ) I agree that as site owners we may well be required to opt out by our national laws ..or produce privacy pages megabytes long and full of legalese ..and even then the CNIL ( french data protection authority ) doesnt give the USA a green light to transfer or aid in transfering personal data ..it considers that the USA is OK only under certain conditions ..breaking the data protection rules here carries heavy fine for first offence ..google appears to be an approved organistation under "safeharbour" for transfer of employee data ..but customer/searcher data is not mentioned in the text at the safeharbour site ..the site *https://www.export.gov/safehrbr/list.aspx* ( copy/paste then take off the *'s )also times out heavily when one tries to search it from France ..The only page I can get to open in any browser is that one ..from there everything else times out ..
I guess all publishers in the EU should worry to a point as directive 95/46/EG (24 october 1995) forces member states to create local legislation protecting the privacy of individuals.
FF + NoScript + CookieSafe + BetterPrivacy ...
edit: fixed confusing mistake
[edited by: swa66 at 2:54 pm (utc) on Oct. 2, 2009]
The questions are in tables starting on page 15.
[edited by: swa66 at 2:49 pm (utc) on Oct. 2, 2009]
I opted out too - apart from the privacy why would I want to share my advertisers with other sites?
Some are more open about it (Google), others I "think" have been doing it for years.
We as consumers just have not been aware of it. Ever notice the creepy ads in Facebook? ;-)
I believe the opt out prevents visitor information from your sites from being used on other sites, but doesn't prevent interest based ads from being displayed on your site.
faced with GOOGs own privacy pages for proof ASA beat hasty retreat ..:)
It's cookie based ( you get them from GOOG properties ..like cooties )..and GOOG writes some very very very persistant and long lasting cookies..
Ps ..I already have the use of "cooties" for bad cookies covered :)
My worry is that people will become scared of things like cookies - but cookies can be very helpful to the user. I use them on forums to keep people logged in, and on a shop so I don't forget what it is that people have spent time adding to their baskets (all the other shops seem to forget me when I press the back button).
But cookies can be abused, and the behavioural stuff stretches the line for me - I deny coonies (sorry) from selected sites myself, but what can we do about the loss of confidence the press will give people?
Because the majority don't have the understanding it's going to end in legislation. That's never helpful. But without that, or better a code of practice, the boundaries of decency are getting stretched.
Average consumers wouldn't know what a normal ad was unless it jumped up and bit them in the neck ..( and even then they may think it was a test for their eligibility for reality TV show )..eg ..J goody
They do think it is all free ..( good soylent green needs a source culture ..so why waste a good resource ) ..
However when someone explains in short words ( less than 3 syllables ) to them how it really works then they get "outraged" ..and having expressed their "outrage" they go right back to twitter , youtube, facebook, surfing pron , downloading warez or exchanging animated 3d smiley add ons to their messenger 2009 ..
1)however they do have money to spend ..so need watching closely ..:)
2)the watching ( and what we do with it ) may enable us to improve however marginally the contents of the gene pool and thus hopefully reduce the number of pre qualified contenders for the Darwin awards :) ..
Damn ..now I've lost focus and can't remember wether I was posting as me ..or posting my CV application for management level jobs at the plex ..where I know GOOG will be watching ..or if I just went clear thetan ( nope not the latter cos I didnt plug my book :) So I must be still somewhat in control..:)
Yes NEO ..you must choose between the two pills ..
( ) - ( )
( ) _ ( )( )
Soi.."u iz followin wabbitz"
or your "choice" will be made for you ..via "auto opt in"
think carefully ;)
Consumers do not want normal ads either
That said the respondents did clearly change their response once they heard how behavioral actually works and hated it even more (66 -> 86% disapproval). So putting them under a clueless label is probably not the right picture either.
Also they disliked even discount coupons and news being served based on behavioral properties and that too went up as they heard methods of how it is done ...
Consumers do not want normal ads either
Really, is that really true?
Or is it just the result of some other poll?
I'm more likely to think people object to off target ads.
Does the average surfer know the difference between a text link and a text ad?
If they are on a widget site, do they object to links to other widget sites?
If they are on a widget site, do they object to text ads that take them (via a link) to other widget sites?
If they are on a widget site looking for info on widget repair, do they object to display ads for widget parts or for widget repair manuals?
Like polls? Ask your top competitor to poll your customers to see what they want fom you.
That said the respondents did clearly change their response once they heard how behavioral actually works
They'll probably avoid sausages too when they realize how it's done, but they'll get over it ;)
I think behavioral ads are a bit icky but as long as it's not some database with my name and social security number shared by powerful marketing groups, just anonymous cookies used for better targeting... meh. At worst, these can be cleaned up every now and then.
Now pop-ups, or spam, on the other hand, are truly evil.
Most consumers have no idea how GAS works. An ad is an ad. But once you start to talk about the inner workings and use words like "tracking" etc a certain amount of paranoia will crop in.
I have not opted out, as I see no reason to. And as for 66% hating this decision because they are against such ads, then I doubt any of them will ever know, and the few that do are probably so tech savvy they probably would not be clicking an ad anyway.
It would have been interesting to ask the group if they objected to advertising on websites on the first place. That would have helped weed out those who haven't considered that paying for those sites from their own pockets would end up being the alternative. But there is some very interesting info in there even after that omission.
For example the figures in the report suggest that the percentage who are happy for the website they are on to tailor itself to them is twice as high as the figure that don't mind that info being shared between sites.
Personally I wouldn't have been in either of those camps. I'm with the ones who don't like any malignant behavioural stuff at all, especially that which might appear to a spouse when she uses the PC. Surely I'm not the only one who sometimes likes to look at or buy things on the net without anyone else finding out where I've been?
I do approve of internet advertising as a whole - it's my main source of income. Worries me that privacy concerns could reduce that income if people knew what was happening behind the scenes.
Web publishers need to speak up about this and remind the EFF, ACLU, Public Citizen and other advocacy organizations that -- just like the movie, recording and print publishing industries -- our content is not free for the taking. The implied contract in most Web sites grants the reader access to the material in exchange for viewing the ads.
Those who don't like that should restrict themselves to looking at government sites.
Heck, even my 76 year old mother knows the difference and runs Noscript, too! :)
The U.S. Constitution unequivocally recognizes the right to free speech and a free press. There is no such recognition of the right to privacy -- and it is, pardon my saying so, un-American to advocate the squashing of free speech in favor of an imagined right to privacy.
Not sure what free speech has to do with privacy.
As far as the US Constitution and privacy rights, the majority of US citizens would disagree, as do any number of legal scholars. The University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law offers one good discussion of the issue. [law.umkc.edu]
The U. S. Constitution contains no express right to privacy. The Bill of Rights, however, reflects the concern of James Madison and other framers for protecting specific aspects of privacy, such as the privacy of beliefs (1st Amendment), privacy of the home against demands that it be used to house soldiers (3rd Amendment), privacy of the person and possessions as against unreasonable searches (4th Amendment), and the 5th Amendment's privilege against self-incrimination, which provides protection for the privacy of personal information. In addition, the Ninth Amendment states that the "enumeration of certain rights" in the Bill of Rights "shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people." The meaning of the Ninth Amendment is elusive, but some persons (including Justice Goldberg in his Griswold concurrence) have interpreted the Ninth Amendment as justification for broadly reading the Bill of Rights to protect privacy in ways not specifically provided in the first eight amendments.
The question of whether the Constitution protects privacy in ways not expressly provided in the Bill of Rights is controversial. Many originalists, including most famously Judge Robert Bork in his ill-fated Supreme Court confirmation hearings, have argued that no such general right of privacy exists. The Supreme Court, however, beginning as early as 1923 and continuing through its recent decisions, has broadly read the "liberty" guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment to guarantee a fairly broad right of privacy that has come to encompass decisions about child rearing, procreation, marriage, and termination of medical treatment. Polls show most Americans support this broader reading of the Constitution.