U.S. consumers are slightly less likely in 2019 to share their data-- their social security number, financial, medical information, work address, and home address and phone numbers -- compared with the prior year, according to the second annual Privacy Study from the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF).
ARF surveyed 1,105 adults ages 18 years and up in a study conducted during during the week of March 26, 2019 to understand what personal data they will share, how their attitude changes when offered the benefit of greater customization of their online experience, and how well consumers understand common privacy terms.
The study revealed that U.S. consumers are less willing to share their data. They place more value on their personal data and the importance of keeping their information secure. In fact, their willingness to share a home address dropped 10 percentage points, while willingness to share their spouse's first and last name dropped 8 percentage points; sharing their personal email address, 7 percentage points; and sharing first and last names, 6 percentage points.
The report also examines how consumers value their data, revealing that they don't put a high price on the data they will share. More than one-third said they would give it away and nearly half would sell it for less than $10, while about 13% would sell for between $11 and $20, and about 4% would want more than $20 for each piece of data.
“We’re seeing more brands moving into purpose and cause advertising,” said Paul Donato, chief research officer at the ARF. “The purpose is to raise the brand liking.”
Brands taking a stand on a purpose or cause is used to raise the emotional connection with the brand, he said.
Purpose and cause may appear more attractive than personalization. One thing is certain -- consumers do not see the value in sharing data to improve personalization of advertising messages. And while many understand the benefit of marketers using their data to target messages, they don’t understand the tools used, such as pixel tags. There is a mixed understanding around terms such as “local storage,” “server logs,” “first party data,” and “third party data.”
When the data is broken out by membership in ethnic categories, Hispanics have a higher level of comprehension of the terms used in privacy statements compared with other ethnic groups.
Trust plays an important role. But in the past year since the first survey took place, there has been little change in the institutions people trust. Consumers continue to trust like-minded people, local police, scientists, and experts. Respondents also continue to mistrust media, Congress, and advertising.
Not surprisingly, mobile app use continues to rise -- 11 percentage points -- with the most common uses including email; social media, 9 percentage points; and gaming, 8 percentage points. Banking and other financial services have also seen a boost -- up 8 percentage points from last year.