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60% of Americans feel uneasy about Web site personalization

 
Picture of C. Enrique Ortiz
60% of Americans feel uneasy about Web site personalization
by C. Enrique Ortiz - Thursday, 17 April 2008, 5:38 PM
 
I stumbled upon an interesting article that while I'm not surprised by its findings, it is relevant to recent discussions on personalization and critical mass with respect to advanced mobile software.
(from my blog post on the same topic)

ceo

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According to a survey by Harris Interactive, nearly 60% of Americans (questioned) feel uneasy about the use of personal information and past activity (digital footprint) for content personalization.

Theres a creepy factor and a fear of the unknown that people dont want to deal with, said Michelle Warren, senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group in London, Ontario.
:
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Nearly 60 percent of 2,513 people in the United States questioned in a Harris Interactive poll said they were uneasy when Web sites use information about personal online activity to tailor advertisements or content.

Yes, this is expected. That is the big challenge ahead us when dealing with People and Data

One thing is a truism; for everything to work, from Google to advanced personalization, a level of trust must exist; trust that our solutions are not sharing personal identifiable information, wont be used for spamming, wont be used for evil things. That is the most important premise of all, for all of this to work.

60% of Americans feeling uneasy is still a large number. As Michael at eZee says: I bet they are asking the questions the wrong way; of course people will say they dont like to be tracked, but that is not the question to ask; instead, the questions to ask have to be more tangible, such as specific things they would get in return, in exchange of personal identifiable information, or activity information yes, all assuming the information is safeguarded, and not shared. We all do it today, with Google, credit cards usage, and social networks.

The article follows:

Free search engines or social networking sites are encoded on web users DNA, and one way to defend behavioral marketing is to sweeten its benefits to users, Westin said in an interview.

Yes, correctomundo! People will give permission to capture and/or use personal information, in exchange for something back that is of value.

Also from the report, and expected, is the following about the younger generation:

The survey showed that younger users are more comfortable with the customized web content, with people aged 18-43 leading the pack.

At the end of the day, to reap the benefits of personalization there is no other way but to combine people and data, to mine such personal information. Its all a matter of time

ceo

Picture of Peter Cranstone
Re: 60% of Americans feel uneasy about Web site personalization
by Peter Cranstone - Thursday, 17 April 2008, 6:50 PM
 
Here's the problem - customers have no way to currently control what data they share with people they trust and don't trust.

People will give permission to capture and/or use personal information, in exchange for something back that is of value.

Preaching to the choir - no value - no money - no exchange of information.

At the end of the day, to reap the benefits of personalization there is no other way but to combine people and data, to mine such personal information. Its all a matter of time

Been saying this for years - however it won't happen until you allow the customer to control his private data and then build a trusted relationship with them.

Here we are back at Identity, Privacy and Revocation. Don't know why it's taking everyone so long to figure it out... although I did notice Ajit post his phone on the forum and I now know he uses a Blackberry... Personal data that he "doesn't" mind sharing. Ask him for more details though and you'll get nothing unless you have something of value to exchange.

Cheers,

Peter




Picture of Michael Knagenhjelm
Re: 60% of Americans feel uneasy about Web site personalization
by Michael Knagenhjelm - Sunday, 20 April 2008, 11:01 AM
 
Peter,

You hit on a key issue.

How can the user benefit from allowing personalised data to be made available without suffering the risks associated with that?

The key is that we must own our own digital identity and personall data in the same way in the digital world as in the physical.

The mechanism for achieving that does not exist at the moment.

--Michael


Picture of Peter Cranstone
Re: 60% of Americans feel uneasy about Web site personalization
by Peter Cranstone - Sunday, 20 April 2008, 1:15 PM
 
How can the user benefit from allowing personalised data to be made available without suffering the risks associated with that?

By allowing him/her to remain in control of not only their own personal data, but also how it is sent to the content provider.

The key is that we must own our own digital identity and personal data in the same way in the digital world as in the physical.

Correct.

The mechanism for achieving that does not exist at the moment.

Yes it does.

Peter C.