Internet users find it "creepy" when websites use information about their browsing habits to determine what adverts they are given, a new survey has revealed.

A study conducted by Harris Interactive shows that some 60 per cent of US web users were uncomfortable with their information being used for search engine marketing purposes, BizReport claims.

"What happens is people suddenly realise they’ve put out enough personal information to get served with a targeted advertisement and the web makes the transition from convenience to creepiness," Colin McKay from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada in Ottawa told the organisation.

Further to this, data collection techniques that promise a better user experience are not commonly liked by web users either, the survey found.

But users are encouraged to remember that such targeting can bring benefits to them, such as free email and free search tools, the site notes.

Harris Interactive carries out research into a number of different market sectors.

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