The vast majority--80.1%--of Web surfers are indeed concerned about the privacy of their personal information such as age, gender, income and Web-surfing habits, according to a survey of some 4,000 Web users administered and analyzed by Burst Media.
More worrisome, perhaps, is the finding that privacy concerns are prevalent among all age segments, including younger demographics that are coming of age online.
Still, privacy concerns do appear to increase with age, from 67.3% among respondents ages 18-24 to 85.7% of respondents 55 years and older.
"Online privacy is a prevailing concern for web surfers," said Chuck Moran, vice president of marketing for Burst Media.
The survey was administered by Burst with the purpose of better understanding how privacy is impacting Web users' experiences online, as well as its impact on advertisers.
"Advertisers must take concrete actions to mitigate consumers' privacy concerns and at the same time continue to deliver their message as effectively as possible," Moran added.
"In addition, and as recently seen in the news flare up regarding Facebook's privacy controversy, publishers need to be completely transparent about their privacy policies."
In addition, the Burst survey found that most Web users believe Web sites are tracking their behavior online. Three out of five--62.5%--respondents indicated it is likely that a Web site they visit collects information on how they navigate and interact with it.
Judging by the Facebook flap and Burst's finding, personal privacy is not something people are willing to give up--even for more relevant advertising.
Based strictly on the description "advertisements more relevant to interest," only one in five respondents--23.2%--said they would not mind if non-personally identifiable information was collected if ads were better targeted.