Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

83% of internet users would switch to another browser if it offered better privacy

New research by eyeo, the German adblocking company, and Opera, the browser has found that 83% of internet users would be willing to switch to a different browser if it offered better privacy. In addition, only 25% trust their current browser with their personal information, underlining the need for better trust and transparency.

For the research, eyeo and Opera surveyed over 2,500 global internet users to better understand their attitudes towards privacy. The appetite for privacy-centric experiences and greater user control is highlighted by the finding that only 29% believe their chosen browser protects their data.

Further, 50% have used an ad blocker in the last month to stop ads from being displayed, while 64% have made a conscious decision to delete tracking cookies.

Till Faida, founder and CEO at eyeo, said: “The research shows that internet users have quite a complex relationship with their browsers. They clearly hold them in high regard in many respects and recognise the major benefits they bring to their online experience. At the same time, users are very privacy-conscious, particularly when it comes to intrusive advertising or excessive use of tracking cookies.

“There’s a better balance to be struck here, where advertising remains a core element of the browsing experience but is done in a responsible manner that respects user privacy.”

Despite the widespread use of ad blockers and the general urge for privacy among users, the data shows that many are more than willing to compromise as far as advertising is concerned. 35% of respondents recognise the valuable role cookies play in the internet ecosystem, and 69% are happy to see some ads if it gives them access to free news.

Faida added: “It’s important to recognise that people’s opinion of online advertising is a spectrum, rather than an all-or-nothing thing. Most realise that ads are necessary if we want to maintain a free and accessible internet, so they’re more than happy to see them if they’re displayed in a respectful, non-intrusive way.

He concluded: “The end goal is to reach a healthy equilibrium where everyone’s needs are met. This research shows that users are on board if their privacy is protected, so it’s crucial that browsers, advertisers and publishers embrace honesty, transparency and openness in everything they do.”