Internet users don’t care about privacy?

Joe Nocera in today’s Times says, “here’s an inconvenient truth about all the effort that has gone into creating and enforcing digital privacy safeguards: When it comes to the most extensive internet privacy rule yet, the public doesn’t seem to care — or, more accurately, it doesn’t seem to have the knowledge or tools to benefit effectively.

One prevalent consumer response is what two communications professors, Nora Draper and Joseph Turow, described in a 2019 paper as “digital resignation.” That is a state of mind in which users know full well that their data is being appropriated and monetized — and know as well that they are being manipulated online — but don’t feel that they can do anything about it.

The last time a pop-up window appeared on a website and asked whether you would allow cookies to gobble up your personal data, did you actually read the fine print or think for more than five seconds before you pressed “accept?” Me neither.

Joe Nocera

But here’s the truth..” the honest answer is to create easier ways for consumers to make decisions — simple, infrequent ones — about how they are tracked.” Instead, the bureaucracy has created a system so complex the average user doesn’t have time to “opt-out.

Recent research asked online users if they want to receive personalized ads. They found a majority (57%) don’t want to receive any political or commercial, and a further 26% don’t want to receive targeted political ads. Only 11% of people said they were happy with their data being used to target them with ads”.

Digital resignation might be the trend, but only because we don’t have a choice. Even with ad blockers, pop-ups still make their way to my laptop, and frankly, it’s become a colossal pain in the ass. Online advertisers haven’t learned that people don’t like to be interrupted when surfing the web.

How are marketers getting around this? Well, there are a ton of free games on the app store that subject users to five-second commercials between rounds. Instagram has been bought and sold by advertisers, and despite Facebook’s lies and avoiding the truth, brands are still begging Facebook to take their money.

The worry over iOS is essentially not necessary.

Media Post reports that 62% of firms have found a way to work around the new iOS restrictions. Another 20.5% have not, and 17.6% are unsure. Moreover, 68.7% say the updates have positively affected their business outlook. In contrast, 19.2% point to a negative effect, and 12.1% feel no impact. 

It’s simple; they’re just finding new ways to interrupt, I mean, advertise.

TV’s dominance can’t be ignored

Broadcast TV still accounts for more time than any other entertainment behavior. Consumers in the USA spend more time watching television each day than their counterparts in any of the other 46 countries tracked by GWI (nearly three hours daily – putting it considerably ahead of time spent on social media in the USA).

The enduring power of linear TV among older groups is plain to see by age. Boomers still watch almost three hours of broadcast TV daily, three times the figure they spend on streaming. As long as boomers are a considerable force in the consumer market, TV will be one of the best ways of accessing this spending power.

We also see more positivity towards TV ads vs. other media among those who are explicitly anti-advertising (avoiding it where they can) right through to those who are more positive towards it (feeling that they are represented in advertising).


About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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