With all the consternation over online data collection, you’d think something evil – greed? – was pushing companies to risk violating user privacy. Yet a new study of online news sites by the Pew Research Center says, in fact, not very many are actually targeting their ads. The study seems a little narrow. For one thing, it focused on home pages, and mostly on sites from traditional media companies. Yes, that’s where premium ads run, but it isn’t where re-targeting, for example, makes the most sense. And Pew seems disappointed that it found so many house ads when it’s possible that they’re a good use of inventory space, assuming the companies did some ad yield analysis. Nonetheless, you’ve got to wonder when all this data collecting will pay off.