Internet users seeking more 'invisibility', study says

Feb 06, 2013
Customers use computers at an Internet cafe in Manila on February 1, 2013. Consumer efforts to protect personal data and remain "invisible" online is leading to a "data blackhole" that could adversely impact digital advertisers, technology research firm Ovum said Wednesday.

Consumer efforts to protect personal data and remain "invisible" online is leading to a "data blackhole" that could adversely impact digital advertisers, technology research firm Ovum said Wednesday.

The move to seek "new tools that allow them to remain 'invisible'—untraceable and impossible to target by data means" will impact advertisers who rely on that information to target their audiences, Ovum said.

Surveying consumers in 11 countries around the world, the research firm said 68 percent of respondents said they would select a "do not track" feature if this was easily available.

"This hardening of , coupled with tightening regulation, could diminish personal data supply lines and have considerable impact on targeted advertising, customer relationship management, big data analytics and other digital industries," the London-based firm said in a statement.

Mark Little, a principal analyst at Ovum, said Internet users were increasingly getting more access to new tools to "monitor, control and secure their personal data as never before".

The recent scandal involving privacy breaches by mobile WhatsApp and lingering concerns over data use policies on and are prompting Internet users to be more guarded, Ovum added.

A joint Canadian-Dutch probe concluded last month that WhatsApp breached privacy laws in at least two countries "mainly in relation to the retention, safeguard, and disclosure of personal data".

The joint probe found that most mobile smartphone users did not have a choice to use WhatsApp's messaging app without granting access to their entire address book, in violation of Canadian and Dutch .

Explore further: Shazam breaks 100 million monthly user mark

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

WhatsApp messaging breached privacy laws

Jan 28, 2013

WhatsApp's mobile messaging service used by hundreds of millions of customers worldwide breached privacy laws in at least two countries, a joint Canadian-Dutch probe concluded Monday.

Senator seeks US probe of smartphone privacy

Mar 05, 2012

A leading US senator called Monday for a government probe into whether smartphone applications used on the Apple and Android platforms can steal private data including photos and address books.

Google rolls out new privacy policy amid howls

Mar 01, 2012

Google rolled out a new privacy policy Thursday allowing the firm to track users across various services to develop targeted advertising, despite sharp criticism from US and European consumer advocacy groups.

Recommended for you

Twitter tries to block images of Foley killing

15 hours ago

Twitter and some other social media outlets are trying to block the spread of gruesome images of the beheading of journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants, while a movement to deny his killers publicity ...

New generation is happy for employers to monitor them on social media

15 hours ago

Will employers in the future watch what their staff get up to on social media? Allowing bosses or would-be employers a snoop around social media pages is a growing trend in the US, and now a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Said Business School suggest ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

frajo
not rated yet Feb 06, 2013
Advertisers will have to learn that nobody likes to be targeted at. Consumers are not going to let advertisers prey on them.