The New York Times notes the study shows 86% of Americans don't want political campaigns to tailor advertising based on their browsing habits and demographic profile.
The study also found that voters are less likely to vote for a candidate if they used information about them to tailor advertising messages. Voters were also less likely to vote for a candidate who bought political advertising on Facebook.
For political campaigns, the process is called microtargeting. Information about voters — like the charitable donations they make, the type of credit card they use and the Congressional district they live in — is combined with voter registration records, and the result allows campaigns to send certain types of messages to voters.
For example, one person may see an ad that focuses on a candidate’s employment message while another will see an ad about reproductive rights. Both presidential campaigns use some form of microtargeting.
“The overall sense is that there is a real discontent about this,” said Prof. Joseph Turow of the Annenberg School. “You have a real disjuncture between the American public and the campaigns that are on a trajectory to increase it.”