Excerpt from Online Privacy POV


Research objectives and methodology

In order to understand Internet users’ comprehension of, as well as attitudes and behaviors toward consumer online privacy, Annalect Research and Platform Logistics conducted a national online survey during the week of February 27, 2012. The survey sample consists of 758 adults, age 18+ who use the Internet at least once per week. Respondents are representative of the U.S. online population based on key demographics including age, gender, education, household income, race, and ethnicity.


  • There appears to be a disconnect in consumers’ understanding of the initiatives being proposed (DNT and the “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights”) and their implications
  • There is equal support (45%) as there is neutrality (43%) for the “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights”
  • About a third (37%) of Internet users have heard of this initiative
  • Nearly all (93%) Internet users would use or already use the DNT button, however, only 22% of users are aware of this function
  • Only 2% currently use the DNT function in Web browsers
  • Age impacts attitudes toward privacy, with younger Internet users being more informed than older users regarding the DNT button, but less willing to use it
  • While all consumers believe consumer online privacy is “important”, 18-24 year olds are less likely (57%) than the 45-54 cohort (84%) and the 55+ cohort (81%) to believe consumer online privacy is “very important”
  • Nearly all (91%) Internet users are aware that certain companies currently track the websites they visit in order to target advertising they consider relevant to users
  • Most consumers (84%) state they would not pay for access to online content that is free now, and instead, they would rather receive targeted advertising in exchange for free access to online content
  • There seems to be a baseline understanding of Internet cookies among Internet users, but there is still confusion surrounding specific functions
  • Internet users are unaware of some of the positive attributes of cookies (e.g., can prevent fraud and identify theft), and incorrectly assume cookies collect personally identifiable information

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