eyeo: 85% of telco subscribers are concerned for their online privacy

New research from eyeo has found that telco subscribers worry about privacy when using their phones to browse the internet, with 85% being at least moderately concerned. These concerns include the presence of tracking cookies and intrusive adverts.

The research, which surveyed over 2,500 global internet users and telco subscribers, found that 50% have used an ad blocker to prevent the display of adverts in the last month, and that 48% find it annoying when an advert for a particular product “follows” them around the internet.

There are similar concerns around cookies. 39% find cookie consent requests annoying, while 22% feel their privacy has been violated when they see a consent form.

The good news, however, is that there are also clear signs that users will accept cookies and advertising if there is an acceptable trade-off – such as free content or the maintenance of privacy. 35% happily recognize the presence of cookies as an established part of the browsing experience, while 69% are happy to see some adverts if it means having access to free news. Interestingly, 84% say that companies should pay them to gain access to their data.

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These stats all point to a need for balance. When browsing online, telco subscribers don’t see ads and cookies purely in binary terms, where they either like all ads and are happy to see them, or they hate all ads and want to eliminate them from their browser experience entirely.

 

In truth, things are much more nuanced. Users want to feel empowered and in control of their browsing experience, but they’re also acutely aware of the necessity of ads and cookies in a fair and prosperous internet. This is where technology such as ad filtering can be instrumental in achieving this balance. Rather than blocking all ads, this tech allows respectful, noninvasive ads to appear on web pages, while hiding the annoying and intrusive ones – think pop-ups, animated ads or ones that overlay a page.

Alec Gramont, Senior Director of Telecom Partnerships, eyeo