Consumers want internet to 'forget' best data used in ad targeting

Users want the internet to 'forget' their phone number, income and address.

Consumers want internet to 'forget' best data used in ad targeting

Many of the best data categories for online ad targeting are among those consumers most want to remain private, according to research from Mindshare covering Australia, India, the UK and the US.

The WPP media agency’s monthly survey asked: "What information about a person do you feel they have the right to not be available on the internet and remove from search engines?"

The top five most popular data points to remove from the internet were phone number (59%), income (57%), current address (57%), properties owned (54%) and children (47%).

Income is one of the major targeting mechanics used in online advertising. While the strongest desire for control of this information came from the 55-64 and 65-plus age groups, almost half (49%) of 18- 24-year-olds felt the same, with an upward trend through the age groups.

"People’s frustration with advertising is that it isn’t relevant enough and it is not personal to them," Marco Rimini, chief development officer at Mindshare, said. "Advertising in the future could go the same route as social media profiles – allowing people to self-define who they are online, cutting out the frustration of being defined by algorithms predicting your needs."

The "right to be forgotten" was a key concept that formed part of this year’s GDPR enactment within the European Union. GDPR requires that data controllers "take all reasonable steps" to take action when they are notified about a user’s request to delete links to information about them.