Infographic: The Generational Gap in Online Privacy

95% of Millennials have taken action to protect their privacy, but they're less likely to opt-out of targeted advertising

You know how, whenever you’re browsing the web on a device you use regularly, you always end up seeing ads lining the sides of the page that seem to correlate directly to what you just recently viewed or searched for on a website? Ever wondered why?

Well, it’s a bit of a trick question, since, depending on what generation you’re from, you’re actually more or less likely to notice.

The way personalized ad targeting works is that it analyzes your activity on certain websites through the use of browser cookies. When you do searches or visit websites, ad networks scan your cookies and try to deliver you ads that the network thinks are appropriate to your interests.

What’s particularly interesting about all this, though, isn’t necessarily the mechanics of the way online advertising works — it’s that, as IDG recently reported, 95% of Millennials take action to protect their privacy, but they’re simultaneously less likely than other age brackets to opt-out of targeted advertising.

Even more strange? The reason why; according to the study, Millenials aren’t less likely to opt-out of targeted advertising because they’re just more comfortable with being tracked — it just seems to be more along the lines that they passively accept the state of advertising on the web. In fact, 67% of Millennials say that they’re actually okay with targeted advertising, provided that what they’re seeing is genuinely “relevant” — meaning, what they want to see.

Basically: as long as they’re seeing ads for things they want to buy, they’re happy with it. Otherwise, they switch and fall into the 64% bracket that said that it makes them feel uncomfortable.

What do you think — do you see the benefit of targeted advertising? Let us know in the comments!



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