Jul 23

The Crumbling Cookie & Need for Transparency

An article earlier this week in GigaOM highlighted results from a TRUSTe survey showing that consumers are becoming more active when it comes to managing their online privacy. Unsurprisingly, the survey found that 94 percent of consumers consider online privacy important. And compared with data from 2011, the survey found an increase across the board in consumers taking steps to actively protect their privacy, such as manually and/or automatically deleting cookies and clearing caches or installing browser privacy add-ons (tracking protection lists, do not track, etc.)

While this data will come as no surprise to folks in the online marketing industry, it underscores the strength of consumer concerns around privacy. Now more than ever it is vital for marketers to adopt practices for targeting that respect consumer privacy. As things stand now, 58 percent of consumers do NOT like online behavioral advertising – largely because of fears around how this infringes on their privacy. As an industry, we need to encourage greater transparency to lessen these fears and help consumers become more comfortable with targeted advertising.

To explain the current solutions available more fully – and the challenges that many of them present – we recently produced a white paper on this topic, Solving the Audience Recognition Crisis, which we encourage all to read and provide commentary on. Here at AdTruth, we are working every day to promote tracking through device recognition. We collect no PII, install no intrusive cookies and honor Do Not Track. In fact, we were the first and only device recognition technology to receive TRUSTe’s TRUSTed Data Collection Certification – an acknowledgement that we are very proud of.

As Ki Mae Heussner writes, “as big data grows and online tracking techniques become more sophisticated, TRUSTe’s results indicate that consumers are becoming increasingly aware that personal data is valuable currency.” Marketers need to quickly implement solutions that are privacy-friendly in order to ensure that consumers continue to allow the industry to make use of that valuable currency.