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fyi: Research Report on Usability of DNT Preference Management

From: Matthias Schunter <mts@zurich.ibm.com>
Date: Thu, 03 Nov 2011 13:20:07 +0100
Message-ID: <4EB286F7.9030603@zurich.ibm.com>
To: "public-tracking@w3.org" <public-tracking@w3.org>
Hi DNT Team,

you may find this recent report interesting:

The report emphasizes that simplicity of our options (as discussed)
and usability of the UI (out of scope) are important goals of a
preference management solution.


Technical reports: CMU-CyLab-11-017
Title:	Why Johnny Can’t Opt Out: A Usability Evaluation of Tools to
Limit Online Behavioral Advertising
Authors:	Pedro G. Leon, Blase Ur, Rebecca Balebako, Lorrie Faith
Cranor, Richard Shay, and Yang Wang
Publication Date:	October 31, 2011


We present results of a 45-participant laboratory study investigating
the usability of tools to limit online behavioral advertising (OBA).We
tested nine tools, including tools that block access to advertising
websites, tools that set cookies indicating a user’s preference to opt
out of OBA, and privacy tools that are built directly into web
browsers. We interviewed participants about OBA, observed their
behavior as they installed and used a privacy tool, and recorded their
perceptions and attitudes about that tool. We found serious usability
flaws in all nine tools we examined. The online opt-out tools were
challenging for users to understand and configure. Users tend to be
unfamiliar with most advertising companies, and therefore are unable
to make meaningful choices. Users liked the fact that the browsers we
tested had built-in Do Not Track features, but were wary of whether
advertising companies would respect this preference. Users struggled
to install and configure blocking lists to make effective use of
blocking tools. They often erroneously concluded the tool they were
using was blocking OBA when they had not properly configured it to do so.
Received on Thursday, 3 November 2011 12:23:29 UTC

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