Most consumers still don’t know how brands are using their data

Despite the past year’s global focus on GDPR and other data privacy regulations designed to give consumers more power over their data, more than half (55 percent) of consumers still don’t know how brands are using their data, according to the Acquia survey of more than 1,000 U.S.-based consumers.

brands using consumer data

On top of that, 65 percent don’t even know which brands are using their data.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • 59 percent of consumers wait at least a month before sharing any personal data with brands
  • 49 percent of respondents are more comfortable giving personal information to brands with a physical store presence
  • 65 percent of respondents would stop using a brand that was dishonest about how it was using their data

California’s CCPA data privacy law and Maine’s Internet privacy protection bill, some of the most restrictive in the nation, are standing behind the consumers who want to understand and control their data – and other states are following. Brands trying to reach those consumers will need to act accordingly, and the stakes are high.

Acquia’s research found that consumers are not willing to give brands a second chance to protect the integrity of their data. This means that businesses have only one chance to make sure their customers know that their personal information, and their privacy, is in safe hands.

The recent focus on data privacy legislation globally puts a spotlight on brands who are also facing consumer demands for personalized online experiences. This requires brands to perform a balancing act of delivering hyper-personalized experiences while also being more careful than ever with consumer data.

Consumers are typically waiting at least a month before sharing any personal data with brands. This underscores their desire to build relationships, taking time to get to know brands before trusting them.

With this in mind, transparency will be key for brands looking to earn this trust; proposed U.S. legislation requiring Internet giants to disclose the value of user data indicates the growing demand for transparency when it comes to personal data.

The organizations who answer this mandate with clear policies on data usage will be most effective at building the trust of these consumers.

In addition to being hesitant to share their data right away, almost half of respondents said they are more comfortable giving personal information to brands with a physical store presence — that’s how much they distrust the Internet.

It’s now up to digital brands to re-earn that trust — even if they aren’t responsible for creating the concern in the first place.

“Brands have a responsibility to educate consumers about data usage, proving that they can trust the Internet again,” said Tom Wentworth, SVP, product marketing, Acquia. “Allowing consumers to opt in or out of data sharing will become more common over time as brands recognize that giving consumers back control of their data is not only the right thing to do, but it will also benefit their business in the end.”

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Most consumers still don’t know how brands are using their data