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Study: Americans Scorn Behavioral Targeting

Sorry, Madison Ave. A new study -- purported to be the first independent, nationally representative telephone survey on behavioral advertising -- finds that about two-thirds of Americans aren't down with advertisers tracking their online activity, and the more consumers learn about what marketers can know about such activity, the more averse they are to the whole practice.

Tailored ads in general did not appeal to 66% of respondents, while an additional 7% said such ads were not O.K. when they were tracked on the site, and another 18% said it was not O.K. when they were tracked via other Web sites, and an additional 20% said it was not O.K. when they were tracked offline. The question is no longer if, but how long before more politicians introduce privacy legislation. Representative Rick Boucher, Democrat of Virginia, says he's already on the case.

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