3 in 10 Adults Say Companies Should Never Be Able to Track Their Online Activities

January 28, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Data-driven | Digital | Personalization | Privacy & Security

Ipsos-Attitudes-to-Companies-Tracking-Individuals-Online-Activities-Jan2013Just 5% of American adults believe that companies should have the right to track their activities whenever they’re online, while an opposing 28% feel that companies should never be able to track their online behavior, per results from a survey conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Microsoft. While that implies a negative sentiment towards online tracking, a majority 60% are ok with companies tracking them, but only if individuals give their permission. The remaining 8% are accepting only if it’s a value-based exchange, where the individual gets something in return.

Most consumers are not comfortable with personalized ads based on their web browsing or online service use, with 80% saying they would not want such ads.

45% Feel a Lack of Control Over Their Data’s Privacy

Regardless of whether or not they’re comfortable with their behavior being tracked online, nearly half of the adults surveyed feel that they have little (33%) or no (12%) control over the personal information companies gather while they’re browsing the internet or using online services. Roughly one-third believe that they have moderate control over their personal information, while another 1 in 5 feel they have at least significant control.

85% of respondents have moved to control their online privacy, primarily by deleting cookies (65%), opting out of targeted advertising (44%), or uninstalling an application (41%).

About the Data: The data is gleaned from an Ipsos poll conducted November 15-18, 2012. For the survey, a national sample of 1,015 adults aged 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel were interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflects that of the U.S. adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe.


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