Americans want online privacy, and they want it now. So why can't we get it?

A new survey by Truste claims 94 percent of people care deeply about online privacy. Unfortunately, none of them are in the online advertising industry.

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But wait, there are more interesting stats to be gleaned:

* 58 percent say they don’t like online behavioral advertising (ie, targeted ads)

* 53 percent believe their personal information is being shared with advertisers

* 58 percent say they’d rather only see ads from stores and brands they already do business with

* About 38 percent have warmer fuzzier feelings for targeted ads that come with a AdChoices icon they can click to get more info or opt out, though only 14 percent of those surveyed said they’d ever seen that icon before.

* Only 14 percent say they are OK with targeted ads if they can be assured their personally identifiable information is not being shared. The number of people who are OK with ads that glean personal info? A scant 2 percent.

As with the PwC survey results, this is not good news for an ad industry that desperately wants the FTC and Congress to leave them alone. People don’t trust the online ad industry, even if their notions about what information the industry collects aren’t especially accurate.

I can’t say I feel much sympathy for these guys. Ad networks have shot themselves in their collective feet by acting like petulant children who are going to hold their breath until they get what they want. That no longer seems to be working.

Maybe it’s time to give up the pretense of “self regulation” and give the people what they want: worthwhile incentives for sharing their data, and an easy and complete way to opt out across all platforms. Is that too much to ask? Survey says, No.

Got a question about social media? TY4NS blogger Dan Tynan may have the answer (and if not, he’ll make something up). Visit his snarky, occasionally NSFW blog eSarcasm or follow him on Twitter: @tynanwrites. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-to’s, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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