39% of US consumers prefer to share data with advertisers for tailored ad experience

A total 39 per cent of US consumers would prefer to share data with advertisers in exchange for tailored ad experiences, according to a report commissioned by global data privacy management firm TRUSTe.

The survey, which was conducted by Ipsos Mori on behalf of TRUSTe this February, polled 2,000 US adults, and revealed that while 82 per cent of consumers are concerned about the type of personal information being tracked by companies via their web-browsing history, a large proportion are willing to share details relating to specific products and services they are interested in, in exchange for more relevant ad experiences.

While 39 per cent stated they would share this information for a more tailored ad experience, nearly half (48 per cent) said they would be willing to do so if the advertiser’s privacy policy was certified by a third-party privacy company.

Of the percentage that said they would be comfortable sharing information with advertisers, 38 per cent said they would be less likely to opt out of targeted ads as a result, with one in three people saying they would be more likely to click through on an ad.

As part of the research project TRUSTe ran a series of field tests over three months with ad exchanges and demand-side platforms. During the tests nine out of ten people chose to share their interests, with half of them also stating they would share multiple interests, while 80 per cent of them selected categories of interests they liked and disliked.

The top five categories consumers chose to receive ads about were technology, games, news, travel and health, while the five categories most didn’t want to see ads from were about dating, automotive, career, finance and education.

TRUSTe has today launched a “privacy-friendly” interests management system called TRUSTe Interests, designed to let consumers manage the information they want to share with the ad ecosystem.

CEO Chris Babel said: “Enabling consumers to share their interests directly with advertisers has the potential to revolutionise the ad industry, addressing consumer and regulatory privacy concerns while putting consumers in control over their advertising experience and enabling advertisers to deliver more relevant ads.

“Consumers are increasingly concerned about being tracked online but currently their only choice is to opt-out of interest-based advertising. TRUSTe Interests enables consumers to take control of their digital experience without expecting them to become experts in cookies or tracking technologies in order to protect their privacy.”

Last summer, research commissioned by the company revealed that consumers are being more proactive when it comes to their online privacy, with 81 per cent of US adults saying they manually delete cookies, with 68 per cent using ad blockers.

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