Personally, I don't really mind the general concept of ad-targeting: the idea that somehow I'll be fed information that actually matters to me personally rather than what someone thinks I should like based on my age and demographics.
But I don't like the fact that someone has to follow my online movements -- unbeknowst to me -- to figure out what to show me. There you go, the strange dichotomy of the American consumer. We want people to be personal, except when it gets too personal. Then again, I'm also the sort of person that absolutely hates being followed around by salespeople when you go into a retail story. So maybe I'm out of the norm here.
Anyway, a survey published in late December 2010 by Gallup and conducted by USA/Gallup among slightly more than 1,010 U.S. adults via telephone interviews found that 67 percent of us think that advertisers should not be allowed to match ads to your specific interests on Web sites that you have visited. Even the fact that these practices keep a Web site free didn't really make a difference, with 61 percent saying that online tracking or lurking is not justified even when a site is free.
Age did make a difference. Younger adults up to the age of 34 were more likely to agree to an invasion of privacy in order to have free access. They were also more likely to have noticed ads that were targeted toward them on Web sites they have visited: approximately 69 percent copped to noticing an ad, compared with 55 percent of those who were older than 55 years old.
This is relevant because the Federal Trade Commission has been thinking about requiring Internet sites to use an opt-out option kind of like the "Do Not Call" list that you can join for your telephone.
Another thing to mull when it comes to online privacy. Also another thing for advertisers to work around.