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Burst Cookie Survey: Consumers 'Don't Understand, Say Maybe Useful, But Some Delete Anyhow'

Burst Media has weighed in on the internet cookie controversy with its own survey, slicing and dicing the responses (see below) of over 10,000 web users (14 and older) about their knowledge and perception of internet cookies - and the extent of and reasons for cookie deletion. "Privacy and security issues taint online users' overall perception of Internet cookies," said Burst Research Manager Chuck Moran. But adds, "Only one out of four say they want internet cookies eliminated…[so] there is significant opportunity for the interactive industry…to build user understanding and trust."

Nearly one-third (30.4 percent) of respondents say they know "Nothing/Never Heard of" cookies. Only one in five (21.6 percent) say they know "A lot" about Internet cookies; 28.1 percent say they know "Some information, but not a lot," and 19.9 percent say they know "A little." Survey respondents were also asked what should be done about cookies - near equal proportions agree (26.5 percent) as disagree (25.8 percent) with "Internet cookies should be eliminated"; and nearly half (47.7 percent) say they are unsure.

Some 38.4 percent of all respondents say they delete cookies at least once a month. This number increases to 42.1 percent among 25-54 year-old adults. Also, 60.6 percent of respondents who delete cookies say they delete "all Internet cookies." More than one-quarter (28.2 percent) say they keep some cookies they "know they need or want," and 11.2 percent say they delete cookies only from unfamiliar websites.

Less than half (48.1 percent) of all respondents say they have deleted cookies from their computer. Men are more likely than women to say so: 54.5 percent versus 41.8 percent. Within the core adult (25-54 years) segment, nearly three out of five (58.4 percent) men and 47.4 percent of women report deleting cookies.

Over half (58.2 percent) who said they know "a little" about cookies said cookies "Keep them from having to refill personal information" when visiting a shopping or commercial website. Similarly, 55.6 percent of that respondent group agree that cookies "Allow [them] to enter sites they have registered with" without reentering a username/password each time they visit. Few of them disagree with these statements; for both statements about one-third of respondents are unsure. The "a little" respondents rejected the statement "Internet cookies can keep me from seeing the same online advertisement over and over again". Only one out of five (23.6 percent) respondents agree with this statement - and one-third (34.9 percent) disagree.

Recent Coverage: The Cookie Imbroglio

- Study: Quadruple the Number of Visitors Rejecting Third-Party Cookies
- Safecount Launched to Save Cookies, Back Safe Measurement
- Study: 27 Percent Weekly Clearing Cookies
- InsightExpress: Rumors of Cookie Demise Still Greatly Exaggerated
- Cookie Death Small Potatoes, More Product of Spyware Measures
- Atlas: Cookie Deletion Figures Exaggerated Wildly by Self-Reported Data
- Macromedia CTO: Yeah, Flash Makes for Good Cookie Replacements
- Cookie Death Causes Search for Successor
- Cookie Death Partly Due to 'Anti-Spyware' Tools
- Tacoda Tech Replaces Deleted Cookies
- Many Delete Cookies, Invalidate Ad Measurements
- House Removes Threat to Cookies in Spyware Bill


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