UAE web users concerned over privacy

76% say online searches should not be monitored unless permission given.
WEB USER: Online customers want more sophisticated web adverts that target what they are looking for rather. (Getty Images)
By Elsa Baxter
Wed 16 Jun 2010 02:31 PM

Online advertisers need to target web users’ searches more effectively in order to really capitalise on the market, the latest internet research has suggested.

Dubai-based market research company Real Opinions found that online customers want more sophisticated web adverts that target what they are looking for rather than where they are based.

Dan Healy, CEO, said: “Take the example of buying an annual holiday. You might only do this once a year, but when you do you'd like to see all the deals on offer and not at any other time during the year.

“This is the key moment for advertisers, it's the here and now period when customers are making an evaluation and possibly a transaction online right away."

The research, which consulted 1,535 people online between February 27 and March 7, found that consumers were attracted to the convenience of behavioural targeting, when adverts relate to a person’s online activity.

But, many were concerned about their privacy online, with 76 percent saying searches should never be monitored unless they had given permission to do so, while 38 percent of people believed there should be no monitoring of searches whatsoever.

Fifty nine percent of people they would support a privacy setting that could be updated in an internet browsers which covered all websites, a statement by the firm said.

"There has been a significant volume of media coverage regarding online privacy and this is an issue that many people have a growing awareness of," said Healy.

"People have learned to become more wary and want more control put in their own hands about what they do and do not share rather than rely on third parties to regulate their levels of privacy."

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