Marko Saric, researcher, has recently found out that 58% of savvy audience block collection of data obtained by resources during web surfing. He processed the most popular posts on Reddit and Hacker News through Google Analytics and Plausible Analytics trackers. It appeared that more than half of users read those websites from the devices with blockers on. At the same time Marko studied the audience of culinary websites, he found only 10% of users with browser add-ons. The researcher came to a conclusion that tech savvy people don’t want to be tracked. Why would they?
Of course, they don’t, because they realise the way the technology works and what risks it poses. Google is the largest company in the world which deals with advertising technology and can access user data directly. The numbers in the study should make advertising companies think how much data Google Analytics doesn’t actually receive because of ad blockers and browsers ensuring confidentiality.
Not only users are worried for their anonymity. For instance, this year Apple has given users the possibility to protect themselves. Now Apple gadgets owners can manually turn off advertising identifier and forbid collecting analytics. Before the introduction of the new policy experts believed that the number of untracked users would have grown up to 70%. Although in May, the analytic company called Flurry published research the results of which showed that 95% of users in USA had forbidden third parties from collecting their data. These numbers illustrate one simple thing: if people have a choice, they will choose not to be tracked.
Thus, the better users understand the way things are (regarding technology, services, processes, etc.), the better they realise the risks coming from them. And the less they are glad about some side-effect functions, such as advertising and analytics collection for its targeting. But what about media companies? They lose profit because of ad blockers. Businesses have been trying to bypass the user refuses to have their activity tracked on the Internet for a long time. For example, companies can lower the quality of the content on their websites for users who have ad block installed. Sometimes “invisible” users can even be denied the access to the content completely or partially until the website visitors turn off blocking software or sign for an ad-free paid option. What can ensue from this battle between users and services? It depends on how people will react. The changes will be made when people and businesses come to a consensus: whether users agree to give data for the access to quality content or businesses begin to respect privacy.