Study: Internet users confused by targeting info icons

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Pittsburgh—Despite the efforts of the ad industry to promote behavioral tracking transparency through the use of a disclosure icon shown along with a display ad Internet users are confused by the program, according to a study by Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab IT program. According to "”What Do Online Behavioral Advertising Disclosures Communicate to Users?” only 12% of respondents remembered disclosure taglines attached to ads; the majority mistakenly believed that ads would pop up if they clicked on disclosure icons or taglines; and 45% of participants who saw the information icon thought incorrectly it was intended to sell advertising space, while only 27% believed it was an avenue to stop tailored ads. Carnegie Mellon's study was based on an online poll conducted in December of 1,548 users of Amazon's Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing service. Last week, the Federal Trade Commission released its final report on behavioral targeting for advertising purposes, which urged the marketing industry to improve its self-regulation efforts.
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