Acxiom’s AboutTheData site launches today. It’s an interesting look at what data the direct marketing company has on file for you; for a full backstory, read this New York Times article interviewing Acxiom CEO Scott Howe.
One of the most interesting data points from the NYT article: according to a Forrester Research survey, only 18% of web users have activated the “do not track” feature in their browser. For all of the chatter about data privacy, it seems that many users need a little less conversation and a little more action.
I took a look at my personal data and almost all of it is correct, based on public property records, credit reports, and magazine subscription surveys. The only piece that’s glaringly wrong is that Acxiom believes I still own a Volvo station wagon that I gladly traded in a couple years ago.
Acxiom allows consumers to opt-out of targeting, with this disclaimer: “Instead of receiving ads that are relevant to your interests, you will see more generic ads…For example, instead of…a hotel package in your favorite vacation spot, you might see an ad for the latest, greatest weight loss solution.” In other words, without targeting you’ll receive spam.
A compelling argument — but will consumers care?