Chapell & Associates

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cookies Misunderstood by Consumers, According to BlueLithium

Yahoo Finance / Blue Lithium Press Release December 5, 2005
Many Internet users do not understand the benefits behind cookies. Web surfers mistakenly believe cookies invade privacy, according to an online poll recently conducted by BlueLithium, a San Jose-based direct response and brand marketing ad network.
The poll of more than 150 Internet users suggests that consumers have a universal privacy misconception of cookies, the backbone of behavioral optimization technology. Cookies enable online advertisers to determine useful demographic information about their online audiences. Sixty-four percent of online users surveyed are uninformed in believing cookies invade privacy.

The Chapell View
I've asked for a copy of the study, and will def post my thoughts upon receiving it. I agree with many of the assertions made by Gurbaksh Chahal, CEO of BlueLithium regading consumer perception and cookies. However, I'm reluctant to base any of my assertions upon this particular study...

First, with a total sample size of 150, it's hard to see this as anything more than directional. What sites did they launch their surveys from, and how representative are those sites? If you launch surveys from, for example, you're going to reach a very different audience than you would from It would seem to me that the margin for error for these results is large enough to drive a truck through...

The marketer inside me says "kudos to blue lithium for garnering some cheap publicity." However, as a privacy professional, I am concerned that this type of... err... "research" will be picked up by a major newspaper and used to heighten consumer (and legislator) concern over cookies. And that's not good for anyone in online media...
posted by Alan on Wednesday, December 07, 2005

© 2005 by Alan Chapell & Associates LLC