Research from vertical advertising specialist, Mediasyndicator, has found that one in three Brits would stop using Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) browser if it automatically blocked websites from being able to retain information – such as passwords – as part of its Do Not Track initiative.
Findings revealed in Mediasyndicator’s 2012 Digital Tracking Research found that though tracking technology is still treated with suspicion due to fears surrounding personal data Brits prefer sites to be able to retain information, such as passwords and auto-fill functions.
The Do Not Track initiative would turn off ad targeting and tracking functions by default, meaning web users would be exposed to less relevant marketing and promotions.
The research, conducted by YouGov, discovered that currently around 45 per cent of UK consumers ‘opt out’ of cookies, due to lack of information and fears surrounding privacy and personal data rather than objections to the actual functions of tracking services.
According to the research, IE10’s plans to automatically disable tracking would upset some 87 per cent of Brits who favour auto-fill services and more relevant advertising. Of those surveyed 13 per cent stated they wouldn’t allow their browser to retain information, such as passwords, for future use.
The absence of tracking technology from IE10 would also make it more difficult for marketers to target relevant web users with their advertising campaigns. Currently just one per cent of respondents claimed the ads they receive online are always relevant to them.
Mediasyndicator CEO, Spyro Korsanos, commented: “With high-profile incidents of data mismanagement reaching the headlines daily, legitimate concerns exist around how consumers’ personal information is used and stored, and by whom. While Microsoft’s introduction of Do Not Track is being implemented as a step to allay these fears, it is evident that this initiative risks doing more to hinder consumers’ online experiences, than help them.
“Despite almost half of UK consumers opting out of cookies, our results show that these are actions borne more out of lack of knowledge and confusion about the purpose of tracking technology – which has actually been designed to improve and personalise the services offered to them on the web.
“Consumer data must be administered with care and their privacy respected, but eliminating tracking tools altogether will do little to improve the experience brands can offer consumers which is best achieved through the use of personalised advertising messaging.”