Do consumers care about their privacy?

If so, they don’t seem to be opting out of behavioral targeting when given the chance. Ad Age reports:

Since last year, ad organizations in the U.S. have been running a campaign meant to stiff-arm regulatory efforts of the sort that went into effect last week in Europe, where companies will now have to get permission from consumers before dropping cookies onto their computers. The centerpiece of the campaign to convince Congress and the FTC that self-regulation is good enough is the “Ad Option Icon” placed in some ads, pointing to information about behavioral targeting and offering a way to opt out of it.

Thus far it’s received relatively low response, a rare case where low click-through on an ad is positioned as a positive thing. The click-through rate is just 0.002% and of those people who do follow the link, only 10% opt out of the ads, according to DoubleVerify, which recently won a contract from the industry trade group to license the icon for ad clients. Two other companies, Evidon and TRUSTe, also provide the service. Evidon, which has the longest set of data, is seeing click-through of 0.005% with only 2% opting out from 30 billion impressions.

The Nudge blog has long been interested in “one click” opt-outs. While admirable, the Ad Option Icon is not a single click. As part of the regulatory debate, companies might want to explore the possibility of making opting-out a bit easier. If the barriers already seem low, they are – but you aren’t thinking like a behavioralist.

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