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Study Says Online Privacy Tools Not Working as Advertised

Study Says Online Privacy Tools Not Working as Advertised - top government contractors - best government contracting event

Study Says Online Privacy Tools Not Working as Advertised - top government contractors - best government contracting eventAverage Internet users who think online privacy tools adequately protect them have a problem according to Carnegie Mellon University researchers: the tools do not work all that well.

In a 38-page report, the researchers determined the tools were more likely to confuse the average user and may in fact do the opposite of what the user intended, according to a story in the Wall Street Journal.

Researchers at the university’s CyLab had 45 participants test nine different privacy tools: DAA Consumer Choice, Evidon Global Opt-Out, PrivacyMark, Ghostery 2.5.3, TACO 4.0, Adblock Plus 1.3.9, IE9 Tracking Protection and privacy options on web browsers Mozilla Firefox 5 and Internet Explorer 9.

“None of the nine tools we tested empowered study participants to effectively control tracking and behavioral advertising according to their personal preferences,“ the study says.

“On the usability front it is pretty bad news,“ said study coordinator Lorrie Faith Cranor according to the Journal.  “I was actually somewhat surprised about how difficult it was for everybody.“

Researchers faulted instructions loaded with jargon and default settings not set appropriately for average users. Participants also reported being unsure over whether the privacy tools were working once set, researchers found.

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Written by Ross Wilkers

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