If you hate those Internet ads that appear to know your interests, you aren't alone. Two-thirds of Americans do not want advertisers to be allowed to target ads based on their web browsing history, according to a new poll from Gallup. In fact, most people -- 61% -- care so much about their privacy that they aren't willing to sacrifice it in exchange for more free content paid for by targeted ads. But this isn't quite a death sentence for ads based on users' interest.
This Gallup poll makes quite clear how much most Americans care about their privacy. Companies are often willing to pay up if ads could be aimed at people
based on their interests, but most Internet users would rather pay for content instead and withhold something as seemingly innocuous as their web browsing history from advertisers.
But Gallup's poll results reveal an interesting finding: Internet privacy concern varies generationally. Here are the results broken down by age group:
Focus on the top section first, which provides the age groups polled. As you go from oldest to youngest, privacy concern lessens. Younger Americans are more willing to grant advertisers information about their interests than older Americans. One of two things is going on here. Either younger Americans are more comfortable with less Internet privacy or the desire for secrecy grows as people age. While either theory could hold in theory, the former probably makes more sense. The younger the age group, the more of their formative years were spent in the Internet age, which probably makes younger Americans more comfortable having their privacy compromised by online advertisers.