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The debate surrounding privacy is shaping policies and, potentially even laws, that will determine how marketers and publishers track and target consumers online, but some new research suggests that consumers don't actually see it as a black or white situation, and that the real issue may not be privacy at all, but a potentially even more complex and emotional subject: security. The research, which was conducted by Ball State University's Center for Media Design, finds that the notion of privacy is actually "situational," and depends on the context of the consumer, the nature of their information being tracked, and the organizations that are tracking it.

The report, "Notions of Privacy: Ignorance, Illusion or Miscommunication," is based on consumer-centric research designed to understand how average people - not the industry wonks, advocacy groups, policy makers or regulators who seem to be framing the debate - feel about having their personal information tracked online. The research, which will be rolled out in stages this week beginning with the release of the top line finding that consumers see it as an issue of security and control, is part of an ongoing series of studies the university plans to conduct around the subject.

Full article: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=145416&nid=124084

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