Monday, October 5

Targeting Trends: UC Berkeley School of Law


According to a new consumer privacy study by the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology at UC Berkeley School of Law (Berkeley Law) and the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, most Americans do not want online advertisements tailored by marketers to their specific interests. This study contradicts some finer points from The IBM Global Study released earlier.

The report, entitled "Americans Reject Tailored Advertising," shows 66 percent of adults said no to tailored ads. Even more concerning for marketers, between 73 and 86 percent will reject tailored advertising when they are told what information marketers intend to gather, including tracking behavior on websites and in retail stores.

The Study Reveals Irritated Consumers

Behavioral targeting, which involves following consumers’ actions and then tailoring advertisements for the consumers based on those actions, have come under increased scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission. Marketers insist behavioral targeting helps deliver the right ads to the right consumers. Privacy advocates argue it is an invasive practice that labels people.

• 92 percent of those polled agree there should be a law that requires websites and advertising companies to delete all stored information about an individual upon request
•  63 percent believe advertisers should be legally required to delete information about their internet activity immediately, whether requested or not.

The report demonstrates that, while younger Americans are less likely to reject tailored advertising (54 percent) than Americans over the age of 24, marketers may be pushing too far ahead and too fast. Harris Interactive warned marketers that consumers were open to behavioral targeting as long as it was constrained.

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