Survey Finds That Most People Don't Want To Be Tracked Online

Do you like it when marketers track your behavior across the Internet, in the name of providing you with targeted ads? If you said no, you’re in the majority, according to a new Gallup Poll and common sense. But don’t worry. Advertisers will continue to follow you anyhow.

AdAge took a look at the new survey’s unsurprising results:

When asked if advertisers should be allowed to match ads to people’s specific interests based on other websites they’ve previously visited, a clear majority of 67% said no, compared with 30% who said yes.

Marketers defending behavioral targeting have argued in part that the public might not understand how much this advertising fuels free websites. “Because there’s been so much scare-mongering, people have been frightened about behavioral advertising,” said John Montgomery, chief operating officer of GroupM Interaction, a unit of WPP. “People are now equating it to something more pernicious.”

Survey respondents also balked at the idea that behavioral advertising is okay because it allows web sites to offer free, ad-supported content, with 61% saying it wasn’t justified.

The Federal Trade Commission has been critical of the practice and has recommended that web browsers include a “Do Not Track” tool that could monitor tracking and allow users to opt out of tracking. New versions Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer are expected to include this function.

New Poll: Americans Say ‘No Thanks’ to Online Tracking [Advertising Age]