Penn study finds most Americans prefer online privacy

Contrary to what many marketers claim, most Americans, regardless of age, do not want online advertisements tailored to their specific interests, and object to the ways marketers follow their moves on the internet, according to a study of consumer privacy spearheaded by Joseph Turow, professor of communication at Penn’s Annenberg School for Communication.

Turow and his fellow researchers from the Annenberg Public Policy Center and the University of California Berkeley’s law school analyzed the responses of 1,000 adult internet users who took the 20-minute telephone survey about behavioral targeting.

“More than half of 18-24 year olds reject it,” Turow told The New York Times. “We sometimes think that the younger adults in the United States don’t care about this stuff, and I would suggest that’s an exaggeration.”

The survey, the first done nationally on this controversial issue now under scrutiny by the Federal Trade Commission and other government policymakers, also explored respondents’ attitudes and understanding about privacy laws.

Click here to read the complete New York Times story.

Originally published on Sept. 30, 2009

Originally published on September 30, 2009