Roughly two-thirds (63%) of ad block users believe that using their personal data to target digital ads is an invasion of their privacy.
However, 20% consider targeted ads to be useful, whilst 17% do not have an opinion on the matter, according to a survey of 500 people in the US by Visual Objects.
Almost half of ad block users (45%) said they would avoid shopping with brands and retailers who used targeted ads.
This is particularly true among older generations who consider targeted ads to breach privacy and security barriers. 72% of baby boomers consider targeted ads an invasion of their privacy.
“I think if ads get too personal that’s kind of taboo,” explained IPNY’s Tim Smith. “For example, if some brand knows my age and sends me something that has my exact age in it, that’s over the line unless I have a great relationship with that brand.”
Meanwhile, 47% of Gen X would pay for an ad-free Internet experience, growing less tolerant of intrusive advertising.
Just 28% of ad block users said they were downloading a privacy extension this year despite their aversion to data collection.
Whilst Google does offer users an option to opt out of being tracked, cookies tend not to be blocked by ad blockers.
“I don’t use my ad blocker to block cookies because I don’t think that option exists in my ad blocker,” said Russell Volk, a RE/MAX real estate agent in the US. “I’m definitely concerned about the privacy issue and who my data is being shared with. I know I’m definitely taking a risk with using only an ad blocker, but I wish there was a better solution.”
Although advertisers argue that targeted ads make for a more personalised experience, the study notes that fewer ad block users visit websites targeted them with ads.
Meanwhile, some web browsers such as Brave are taking advantage of a demand for an ad-free web experience. Brave is an ad-free web browser that blocks ads and cookie trackers.