Posted in War on Privacy

Pew survey finds Americans don’t like targeted ads and don’t want personalized search

A new survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts has found that Americans still care about online privacy:

Even though Americans like search engines and they really like Google, they don’t like targeted ads or personalized search results.

Nearly three-quarters of search engine users surveyed say they don’t want search engines to mine their personal information to tailor results to their interests, something Google has been doing since January.

More than two-thirds say they don’t want to be tracked on the Web or have ads targeted to them.

Google, of course, is betting that people will still continue to use its offerings despite whatever misgivings they may have about the company’s policies. That’s why it has continued waging its war on user privacy.

But increasingly, there is pushback. It used to be that Google could get away with a lot. But these days, when the company makes a move, it gets noticed and reported. And consumer protection groups register their concerns or opposition. That’s progress. That’s a good thing. European regulators have already concluded that Google’s new unified privacy policy violates European laws, and they’re initiating a probe which could be the precursor to litigation. A group of state attorney generals has also condemned Google’s consolidation of privacy policies from its different products into one as “an invasion of privacy”.