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Report: Opt-Out Tools Not User Friendly

BEHAVIORAL TARGETING

November 1, 2011

A new report issued by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University says that online opt-out tools and cookie-blocking mechanisms are difficult for individuals to understand and use, MediaPost News reports. In "Why Johnny Can't Opt Out," researchers asked 45 users to test various opt-out tools and Web browser mechanisms. The reports states, "Our results suggest that the current approach for advertising industry self-regulation through opt-out mechanisms is fundamentally flawed." Carnegie Mellon Cylab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory Director Lorrie Cranor said, "A lot of effort is being put into creating these tools to help consumers, but it will all be wasted--and people will be left vulnerable--unless a greater emphasis is placed on usability." An Interactive Advertising Bureau representative has disputed the report's results. 
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