Spooked by a steady stream of data breaches and reports of identify theft, consumers are increasingly unwilling to share personal information with Web sites, according to survey of nearly 1,000 consumers conducted by personalization software vendor ChoiceStream Inc. Reflecting their conflicted feelings, the findings indicate that while 80% of consumers want personalized online experiences, 63% are concerned that the personal data they provide may not be secure.

ChoiceStream's survey of 923 consumers, conducted using MarketTools Inc.'s Zoomerang online survey tool, found that 46% of respondents are willing to provide demographic information to get personalized content, down from 57% a year earlier, while 59% of respondents are willing to provide personal preferences, down from 65% last year.

The reluctance to provide personal preferences and demographic information runs contradictory to continued growth in consumers' use of the Internet. Broadband penetration has reached more than half of U.S. households, causing Internet users to spend more time online and seek out more data-intensive content, a technological inflection point that was expected to open up Web commerce opportunities that were elusive in a dial-up world.

Get the full story at InformationWeek