Studies: Users Are Confused By Icons

MediaPost reports on recent studies that the "centerpiece of the ad industry's self-regulatory privacy program"--icons aimed at advising users about behaviorally targeted ads--is confusing to users. The pair of Carnegie Mellon University studies "cast doubt on whether the icons effectively inform Web users about data-based advertising," the report states. A study of 1,500 Internet users found that "icons, taglines and landing pages fell short both in terms of notifying participants about OBA and clearly informing participants about their choices." The second, which focused on interviews with 48 Internet users, found that "five out of 48 thought the icon was aimed at informing users about tailored ads," the report states.
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