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UK consumers wary of cookies

27 Jul 2011 10:50 BST Back
UK consumers wary of cookies

Also in the news

Nearly half of UK consumers do not understand website cookies yet 39% of them see them as potentially harmful. 

The results come from a new DMA survey carried out in conjunction with Toluna QuickSurveys where 1,000 UK adults were asked about their views and awareness of cookies and internet security on their mobiles. 

Awareness is high, with 90% of respondents saying they have heard of cookies. 

However, when it comes to understanding website cookies, the results reveal a much more mixed picture. 

Although over half of people said they had some understanding of how website cookies work (60%), when pressed further about how they worked only 21% said they fully understood them.  

Just over half said they knew whether or not cookies were used in the same way on mobile devices (including iPads and tablets) as laptop and desktop computers.

Of that 54%, nearly three quarters (72%) agreed with the statement “Mobile phones and tablets use cookies in the same way as a computer”. 

Around a third (34%) didn’t know about opting out of website cookies. But of the 65% who did know about it, 68% were aware that they could choose to opt out of website cookies. 

When asked about changes to the cookies legislation earlier this year, respondents were split straight down the middle, with just under half (49.6%) saying they knew nothing about it. 

Even the respondents who were aware of the legislation were confused as to what this meant, with almost 52% thinking that the legislation hadn’t changed at all. 

There is a sizeable group of people who understand and know how to control the cookies set on their devices. One in three of respondents have either opted out of specific website cookies or have set their browser to block all cookies

However, nearly half (43%) have taken no action to opt out or block cookies in their browser. 

Attitudes to cookies are worrying for marketers, with only 14% of respondents seeing cookies as absolutely necessary for the internet. 

The survey also reveals anxiety among consumers about internet security, with over half (57%) expressing concern.

Mobile surfers seem less worried. Of those who access the internet on mobile devices, only 23% are concerned about mobile internet security. 

And there is good news for mobile marketers. Mobile internet use seems to be on the up, with just over a third of respondents (34%) saying they surf the web on their mobile. 

The DMA Mobile Marketing Council presented the results of this survey at a breakfast briefing on Wednesday 27 July 2011 and will be publishing a white paper on the subject in the autumn.  

Posted by

Neil Turner

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