Study: Americans object to online tracking by marketers

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Philadelphia—U.S. Internet users object to having their online behavior tracked for marketing purposes, but not when it comes to offered discounts or news, according to a new study on behavioral advertising by the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California at Berkeley.

The study, “Americans Reject Tailored Advertising,” found that 66% of respondents consider tailored ads to be “not OK.” This negative sentiment rose as high as 86% of all respondents when they were asked about personal Internet habits tracked on a particular Web site or via other Web sites they later visit. By contrast, 51% of respondents said tailored discounts were OK, and 58% said news stories delivered to them based on their online habits were OK.

The survey was conducted in June and July with 1,000 adult Internet users interviewed by phone.

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