3 min. reading

Users Reject Targeted Ads in New European Poll

Imagine scrolling through your social media feed, and every ad you see feels eerily tailored to you. That's the reality of today's internet, powered by personalised ads. While tech giants like Facebook insist we love this "personalized experience," our recent poll paints a different picture.

Users Reject Targeted Ads in New European Poll
Source: Depositphotos

New study from YouGov asked over 2,000 social media users in France and Germany about their thoughts on these ads. Turns out, most folks aren’t fans. A whopping 57% said they don’t want any personalised ads at all, be it for products or politics. Only 11% were okay with their personal data being used for ad targeting.

Source: YouGov

People get particularly creeped out when it comes to being categorized by income, religious views, or life events like pregnancy or bereavement. It feels invasive, and most think it shouldn’t be allowed.

The way how PPC works and our online behavior is tracked for ads also raises eyebrows. Whether it’s what we do on social platforms or our broader internet activity, a clear majority think this kind of surveillance shouldn’t be used for ads.

Political ads are an even bigger concern. Nearly half of the respondents worry these targeted ads might be hurting democracy. In France, that number jumps to 50%.

A big part of the problem? Most of us have no clue how PPC work and how our data is being collected and used later on. It’s all happening behind the scenes, with our “consent” buried in those long terms and conditions we never read.

Source: YouGov

This isn’t just about annoying ads, for eample from PPC campaign. There are real concerns about how this targeting can polarize communities, spread misinformation, and even suppress votes. Plus, when we all see different ads, it’s hard to have a public conversation about their claims.

So, what can be done? We believe tech companies need to step up their game, giving us more control over our data and putting limits on intrusive surveillance. The EU has a chance to make this happen with the Digital Services Act (DSA).

Our poll shows people are ready for change. Most want independent audits of social media algorithms to prevent the spread of harmful content. Many also want more transparency about who’s behind the ads we see and how they’re targeted.

With big elections coming up in Germany, and the DSA on the table, now’s the time to address these concerns. This poll is just a snapshot, but it’s clear: people aren’t as thrilled about personalization as tech companies would have us believe. Is it time to rethink how we’re targeted online?

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