Microsoft’s ‘Do not track’ initiative for IE10 turns off ad targeting and tracking by default, opening the door for less relevant marketing and promotions.
The Do not track plan has already been reported as a problem for over half of Brits, who say they are being exposed to irrelevant online advertising.
The study by Mediasyndicator and YouGov, found that despite concerns over online data and privacy, 87% of UK consumers find online tracking services useful.
The poll of 1,987 UK adults, found that one in three would stop using internet browsers like IE10 if they blocked websites from being able to retain convenient information like passwords or auto-fill functions.
"With high-profile incidents of data mismanagement reaching the headlines daily, legitimate concerns exist around how consumers’ personal information is used and stored, and by whom," said Spyro Korsanos, CEO of Mediasyndicator.
"While Microsoft’s introduction of Do Not Track is being implemented as a step to allay these fears, it is evident that this initiative risks doing more to hinder consumers’ online experiences, than help them. Despite almost half of UK consumers opting out of cookies, our results show that these are actions borne more out of lack of knowledge and confusion about the purpose of tracking technology – which has actually been designed to improve and personalise the services offered to them on the web."
The study suggests that the 45% of UK consumers who ‘opted out’ of cookies is due to privacy fears and confusion about how their personal data is used.
IE10’s plan to turn off tracking capabilities is predicted to upset the 87% of Brits who prefer more relevant advertising and auto-fill features on websites.
The report suggests that blocking tracking technology will make it difficult for advertisers to deliver appropriate campaigns to the right consumers.
"In the absence of tracking technology, advertisers will find it harder to get a better handle on the profile and behaviour of their online audiences, meaning consumers’ will continue to be served with excessive and irrelevant promotions," added Korsanos. "Consumer data must be administered with care and their privacy respected, but eliminating tracking tools altogether will do little to improve the experience brands can offer consumers which is best achieved through the use of personalised advertising messaging."