According to a recently released study by consumer privacy organization TRUSTe and global market insight
and information group TNS, consumers generally know that their internet activities are being tracked for purposes of targeting
Are they OK with it? Not really. They study also revealed a high level of concern associated with that tracking,
even when it isn’t associated with personally identifiable information.
Behavioral targeting, which enables marketers to deliver customized experiences and improved marketing
metrics, also runs up against consumer privacy concerns and calls for greater
transparency around emerging tracking and targeting techniques.
the results of the survey, lack of transparency may factor into privacy
concerns. In fact, 71 percent of online consumers are aware that their browsing
information may be collected by a third party for advertising purposes, but
only 40 percent are familiar with the term “behavioral targeting.” In addition, 57
percent of respondents said they are not comfortable with advertisers using
that browsing history to serve relevant ads, even when that information
cannot be tied to their names or any other personal information.
Meanwhile, a majority (91 percent) of respondents expressed willingness
to take necessary steps to assure increased privacy online when presented
with the tools to control their internet tracking and advertising
experience, and this, accoridng to TRUSTe and TNS, suggests a need for added education, transparency and choices
for behavioral targeting. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) would choose to
see online ads only from online stores and brands that they know and trust
and 44 percent of respondents would click buttons or icons to make that
To the contrary, a similar proportion of consumers (42 percent) said they
would sign up for an online registry to ensure that advertisers are not
able to track browsing behaviors, even if it meant that they would receive
more ads that are less relevant to their interests.
What these results boil down to is that consumers say they want more relevant advertising, but don’t want
to be tracked in order to get it.
What is the key takeaway here? Transparency, transparency, transparency. Consumers today are more sophisticated and educated than ever before. They understand advertising, and in many cases, respond to it and even enjoy it. So don’t take chances–be a trustworthy and transparent company.