A majority of U.S. adults are uncomfortable about search engine data collection practices, according to a survey conducted by Harris Interactive. 59% are uneasy about the ads that are based on search behavior.
Search engines maintain that the targeted ads help them keep services free, and introducing that concept to survey participants did seem to alter the majority opinion. In light of that information, a 55% majority said it was ok after all to have those ads based on collected user data.
But that doesn't mean searchers don't retain some reservation. Only 9% are very comfortable with the ads knowing that they help produce free products, an increase from 7% without that knowledge.