Risk
4/10/2008
04:38 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

U.S. Adults Wary Of Web-Use Tracking

Survey respondents were uncomfortable when Web sites used visitors' online activity to tailor advertisements or content based on their hobbies or interests.

A majority of U.S. adults are uncomfortable with Web sites using a person's online activity to deliver customized content, a study released Thursday showed.

However, Harris Interactive found that people became more comfortable after they were presented with Web-site privacy and security policies recommended by the Federal Trade Commission.

Based on a nationwide survey of more than 2,500 U.S. adults, the study found that six in 10 respondents were skeptical when Web sites like those from Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft used visitors' online activity to tailor advertisements or content based on their hobbies or interests. A quarter of the respondents were "not at all comfortable," and 34% were "not very comfortable."

The remaining 41% were split between the 7% of people who were "very comfortable," and the 34% who said they were "somewhat comfortable."

Columbia University professor and study designer Alan F. Westin said the study showed a disconnection between Web sites and Web users. The former argues that users are likely to consider free e-mail accounts, the lessening of irrelevant ads, and other benefits as worth the trade-off of having their activities tracked. "Though our question flagged this position, 59% of current online users clearly do not accept it," Westin said in a statement.

Researchers found a change in attitude after the FTC-recommended privacy/security policies were introduced. The recommendations include greater disclosure on use of data and consumer control, limited data retention, and opt-in consent for material changes to existing privacy promises and for use of sensitive data.

If these conditions were applied, then 55% of the respondents to Harris' survey said they would be more comfortable with Web companies using information from visitors' activities.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-2595
Published: 2014-08-31
The device-initialization functionality in the MSM camera driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, enables MSM_CAM_IOCTL_SET_MEM_MAP_INFO ioctl calls for an unrestricted mmap interface, which all...

CVE-2013-2597
Published: 2014-08-31
Stack-based buffer overflow in the acdb_ioctl function in audio_acdb.c in the acdb audio driver for the Linux kernel 2.6.x and 3.x, as used in Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to gain privileges via an application that lever...

CVE-2013-2598
Published: 2014-08-31
app/aboot/aboot.c in the Little Kernel (LK) bootloader, as distributed with Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) Android contributions for MSM devices and other products, allows attackers to overwrite signature-verification code via crafted boot-image load-destination header values that specify memory ...

CVE-2013-2599
Published: 2014-08-31
A certain Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) patch to the NativeDaemonConnector class in services/java/com/android/server/NativeDaemonConnector.java in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.3.x enables debug logging, which allows attackers to obtain sensitive disk-encryption pas...

CVE-2013-6124
Published: 2014-08-31
The Qualcomm Innovation Center (QuIC) init scripts in Code Aurora Forum (CAF) releases of Android 4.1.x through 4.4.x allow local users to modify file metadata via a symlink attack on a file accessed by a (1) chown or (2) chmod command, as demonstrated by changing the permissions of an arbitrary fil...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
This episode of Dark Reading Radio looks at infosec security from the big enterprise POV with interviews featuring Ron Plesco, Cyber Investigations, Intelligence & Analytics at KPMG; and Chris Inglis & Chris Bell of Securonix.