Web Users Hate Targeted Online Ads, But That's Not Stopping Them
Looks like convenience beats fears of Big Brother.
Seven out of 10 Internet users of Web-based applications like Gmail or Photoshop said they would be "very concerned" if the companies that run those technologies analyzed personal data for targeted ads, according to a survey released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.
Yet that doesn't seem to stop them from using those Internet applications that store massive volumes of data in servers strewn around the nation, a trend called cloud computing that has been embraced by Google, Salesforce.com and Amazon.
As debates over privacy and intellectual property policies take shape in Washington, seven out of 10 online users have used several cloud computing applications like Web-based mail and online video and photo sharing and storage sites, according to the survey.
John Horrigan, the associate director of research for the Pew Internet project, explained that despite concerns over privacy, Internet use of cloud computing applications has exploded because of their convenience and ability to share information with others.
"People are very obviously making trade-offs in privacy when they engage in these behaviors. That means they are weighing the pluses and minuses," Horrigan said at a discussion on the Pew report and its policy implications hosted by Google's Washington D.C. office.
In a story earlier this week by Post colleague Ellen Nakashima, Jane Horvath, Google's senior privacy counsel, said that the company would be anonymizing the Internet Protocol address and the cookies that track users when they type search terms or Web pages into Chrome's Omnibox, an all-in-one search and address bar.
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Posted by: Politically Naive | September 15, 2008 2:19 PM
Posted by: Davy Mckenziw | September 18, 2008 6:45 AM
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