Majority of Americans dislike unauthorized use of behavioral data

From Yahoo News:

Majority Uncomfortable with Websites Customizing Content Based Visitors Personal Profiles


Level of Comfort Increases When Privacy Safeguards Introduced

ROCHESTER, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–A majority of U.S. adults are skeptical about the practice of websites using information about a persons online activity to customize website content. However, after being introduced to four potential recommendations for improving websites privacy and security polices, U.S. adults become somewhat more comfortable with the websites use of personal information.

Good stuff, although one should read closely to understand exactly what users dislike. Customization isn’t the problem… it’s the unauthorized invasion of privacy. The questions asked by Harris were rather leading. It would be interesting to see what people say to “if asked, would you allow a Search engine to provide enhanced results based on your behavior.” My understanding is most people do opt-in to the advanced features of Google desktop, which asks essentially the same question at install time. People don’t like surreptitious activities, but if you ask up front, it’s much easier for folks to say yes.

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