Two thirds of consumers reject tracking in new survey

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By John Glenday, Reporter

February 6, 2013 | 2 min read

A survey into the attitudes of internet users has found that two-thirds reject the practice of internet tracking, a response which the report’s authors predict could spell a period of ‘turbulence’ for the sector.

Ovum’s Consumer Insights Survey revealed that 68% of internet users across 11 countries would make use of a ‘do not track’ feature were it readily available – with a considerable impact on targeted advertising.

It is believed that such responses indicate a shift in attitude amongst internet users as people increasingly tire of having their personal data collected, potentially spelling trouble for the digital economy as consumers employ new tools to keep their movements private.

Mark Little, principal analyst at Ovum said: “Unfortunately, in the gold rush that is big data, taking the supply of ‘little data’ – personal data – for granted seems to be an accident waiting to happen. However, consumers are being empowered with new tools and services to monitor, control, and secure their personal data as never before, and it seems they increasingly have the motivation to use them.

“Internet companies need a new set of messages to change consumers’ attitudes. These messages must be based on positive direct relationships, engagement with consumers, and the provision of genuine and trustworthy privacy controls.

“Most importantly, data controllers need a better feel for the approaching disruption to their supply lines, and must invest in tools that help them understand the profile of today’s negatively-minded users – tomorrow’s invisible consumers.”

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