Thursday, May 29, 2008

5 Step Process to Ease Privacy Concerns Regarding Behavioral Targeting

According to an article in Reuters, Stanford Group Co., a financial services research group, concluded that Federal, state and consumer discomfort with Google Inc, Yahoo Inc and other companies tracking consumers' online behavior could slow the growth of Internet advertising.

"We think the growing government scrutiny is likely to make it easier for consumers to opt out of behavioral tracking, which in turn will reduce the number of web surfers that can be reached through behavioral advertising," the group said in a statement.
"The momentum toward disclosure/opt-out has negative implications for the rapid growth of online advertising," the group said.

I don’t completely agree with this the conclusion and statements made by Stanford Group Co. As I have written in past, any company that wants to engage in Behavioral Targeting needs to first build trust with the consumers before they start targeting them.
Perfect example is Most of the Customers do not mind being tracked by Amazon because they trust Amazon, they know that Amazon is collecting the data and that data will be used to provide better experience on the site and also to provide customers with timely and relevant offers from Amazon.

Yes, I agree that in short run providing easy opt-out options will result in lower reach but in long run publishers, advertiser and networks will build a trust that will provide more value than the value lost by sacrificing reach.
In my opinion, the momentum towards privacy will increase over time. So rather than complaining it is time that networks and publishers (and even advertisers) start taking action to build trust with their customers (visitors).

I provided a 5 step process to ease privacy concerns related to Behavioral Targeting, online advertising or On-Site in my post titled “ Consumer Awareness and Attitudes about Behavioral Targeting, here are those 5 steps.

  1. Build trust with your consumers

  2. Educate them what Behavioral Targeting is and how you collect the data and use it

  3. Provide them a compelling reason to allow you to collect their data

  4. Build an opt-in model allowing users to control what data they want you to use

  5. Give users a way to easily opt-out of Behavioral Targeting

Do you agree? Disagree? Question? Comments? Chime in.

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