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Home arrow Market Research Findings arrow Information Technology arrow Internet Users Hold Privacy Dear
Internet Users Hold Privacy Dear PDF Print E-mail
Written by eMarketer   
18 Jun 2010
Just 13% willing to exchange personal info for content

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, or free content, and US Internet users are willing to make some sacrifices to get entertainment without paying, according to research from Edelman.

Nearly one-half of respondents to the March 2010 survey were willing to watch ads in exchange for free entertaining content. Almost as many were willing to sacrifice some convenience, such as the ability to share or access the content on multiple devices, to get it free.

But the vast majority of Internet users were not willing to stint on quality or give access to their private data in return for free content.


Consumers and advocacy groups have been increasingly vocal about privacy concerns, especially as related to behavioral targeting and personal data. But their ideas about privacy are often conflicted.

Edelman’s research provides another example of Internet users who say they want personal information private but whose behavior may suggest otherwise.

The company asked survey respondents whether they saw social networking sites as a form of entertainment, and nearly three in five said they did. Among younger adults that proportion rose as high as 73%.


With the biggest social networking sites free to the general member, this makes them a prime example of users trading off something of value for free entertainment.

But a huge part of the trade-off in the social networking environment includes personal information—the privacy of which is sometimes dubious.

As sites like Facebook continue to work through privacy issues, marketers should keep in mind that while users make certain information about themselves available, most still want their privacy respected.

26 May 2010

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