Living in a country with some of the most stringent privacy protection laws, you’d think the Dutch would welcome permission laws that require them to be very specific in the use of their data. Turns out, they are just like Americans and citizens of many other countries who draw the line at repetitive and annoying permission requests, especially after they have already declared their interest in being served targeted advertising and content by marketers and publishers.
As reported in this Advertising Age article, the government has had to relax its policies about cookie notices on every page of a website after consumers protested.
This is very similar to the consumer response we see in America to the Digital Advertising Alliance advertising options icon. The icon appears on trillions of behaviorally targeted ads every month, as part of multi-association joint effort to self-regulate the online behavioral advertising industry. Of the 25+ million people who have clicked on the icon to get more information about opting out of targeted ads, a very small percentage actually execute the opt out – typically around a quarter of a percent. This demonstrates that when consumers are educated about the value of targeted advertising, they choose to keep it coming.
“Consumers are curious, they explore and investigate the advertising options,” says Lou Mastria, executive director of the Digital Advertising Alliance. “They realize that they have control, but ultimately prefer to receive relevant ads over generic ones.”
DMA always promotes the ethical principles of notice and choice. As an industry, we must respect consumer preferences, give consumers power over their digital experiences, and be as transparent as possible about our collection and use of data.
In well-intended efforts to protect consumers, governments all over the world – including our Congress and many state legislators – often aim too high on regulation and too low on consumer choice. The Dutch have shown us another great example of how consumers are very much in favor of the value that targeted and personalized digital experiences offer.