Users Trust Online Retailers With Data Privacy, Less Confidence With Advertisers, Marketers

Online auctions, banking, social networks, and competitions are taking the brunt of the burden when it comes to data protection. Consumers have been avoiding these types of online sites, with older generations being the most cautious, and Gen X and Gen Y the least, per a study released Monday.

Data privacy concerns impact marketers and advertisers, the GfK study shows. Nearly 80% of respondents want more regulations, preventing organizations from repurposing personal data to third-party companies. About seven out of 10 baby boomers and eight out of 10 pre-boomers distrust marketers and advertisers with their data.

The GfK poll gauges the attitudes of more than 1,000 American consumers from March 7-9, 2014. GfK surveyed 1,000 respondents, all at least 18 years of age.

Concerns about data make consumers trust marketers less. In fact, less than 40% trust marketers and advertisers, international business and online social networks with their personal data. More than 68% trust hospitals and health care providers, online payment systems and online retailers to keep their personal data private.

Younger generations care less about having their data tracked without approval to promote a safer online environment.

Heartbleed became a cause of concern after being revealed by researchers as a flaw in the Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Security Layer of the Internet to obtain a private encryption key. Some 59% said concerns rose in the last 12 months. Nine out of 10 are a little concerned, and half are very concerned.

Although the latest data scandal poses a threat to large brands, trust in retailers remains higher than for government and social media -- about 68% overall.

More than half of consumers believe the U.S. government doesn't do enough to protect their data. Nearly 80% want stricter guidelines, preventing organizations from repurposing personal data to third parties.

The impact is personal. Overall, 88% of respondents are somewhat to very concerned about their personal data. Some one-third of consumers have been subjected to online fraud at least once, and 11% have experienced it several times. Some 48% are taking steps to avoid at least one type of online service or platform. Many are looking for improved protections through different channels led by social networks, authorities, and search engines.

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