Consumers want privacy, but don’t take advantage of opt-out technologies

A majority of consumers worry about how marketers use their personal data, but 79 percent are more likely to provide personal information to what they consider a “trusted brand,” according to a new consumer behavior study from SDL.

The survey also revealed that while consumers are not comfortable with being “tracked” in a physical store, they tend to not read brands’ privacy policies or take measures to opt-out of web tracking practices.

The study surveyed over 4,000 consumers across the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

A summary of key findings includes the following:

  • Consumers reward trusted brands: Globally, 79 percent of respondents are more likely to provide personal information to a “trusted” brand. The finding underscores the need for brands using digital marketing to develop trust and understand what information consumers are willing to exchange with a brand.
  • Privacy meets resistance: Overall, 62 percent of survey respondents worry about how marketers are using their personal information. The results suggest a culture of resistance to sharing data online.
  • Older consumers worry more: In the United States, 59 percent of consumers between ages 18 and 29 worry about data privacy compared with 71 percent between ages 45 and 60. There is less concern about data privacy overall in the United Kingdom (48 percent in the younger generation, 63 percent older) while Australian consumers reflected less of a generation gap (60 percent younger, 66 percent older).
  • Consumers willing to share certain details: Of the items that consumers are most willing to share, gender, age and income top the list. However, name of spouse, lists of family and friends and Social Security numbers are items that most consumers won’t share with brands.
  • Consumers reject in-store tracking: Of those respondents that have a smartphone, 76 percent are not comfortable with retailers tracking in-store movements via smartphone and Wi-Fi.
  • Consumers aren’t using privacy features: While consumers are concerned about how their data is being used, 72 percent of global respondents rarely or never use “Do Not Track” or “Incognito” features that would allow them to opt-out of website tracking.
  • Consumers skip website privacy policies: Overall, 65 percent rarely or never read a website privacy policy before making a purchase. The most active policy readers are in Australia – where 44 percent always or often read the fine print.

Don't miss