Privacy and Modern Advertising: Most US Internet Users Want 'Do Not Track' to Stop Collection of Data about their Online Activities

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Citation: Chris Jay Hoofnagle, Jennifer M. Urban, Su Li (2012/10/08) Privacy and Modern Advertising: Most US Internet Users Want 'Do Not Track' to Stop Collection of Data about their Online Activities. Amsterdam Privacy Conference, 2012 (RSS)


Download: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2152135

Tagged: advertising (RSS), privacy (RSS)


Summary:

"Do Not Track" policy debate is between regulation of data collection and regulation of use of collected data. Latter deemed as ineffective, eg complaints against credit rating agencies.

Authors' telephone survey asked American 1,203 adult internet users whether one had heard of DNT (87% hadn't), and what one preferred DNT mean (60% prevent info collection, 20% block ads, 14% prevent ads based on previously visited sites, 6% don't know/refused).

Survey also asked about user privacy on medical sites, advertising-supported sites, and paid sites; answers evince great uncertainty.

Survey also asked about finding useful and clicking on online ads, respectively (10% and 2% often, 20% and 12% sometimes, 36% and 35% hardly ever, 33% and 50% never).

Theoretical and practical relevance:

Authors' state that "business model" relying on ever-increasing tracking of users is in conflict with users' privacy expectations, and refer to proposals (1, 2, 3) for displaying relevant advertising without tracking users.