Did You Know Today Is Data Privacy Day?

People are fed up with brands that send them too many emails. That cheery finding is part of DataGrail’s 2020 Consumer Privacy Report, a study released in commemoration of Data Privacy Day. 

Of the consumers polled, 68% immediately unsubscribe when they get too many emails from a company, and 16% will mark them as spam. 

In worse news, 62% say they continue to receive emails from a firm after unsubscribing. And 66% receive emails from companies they never heard of. 

That goes against the grain of a rash of laws and consumerist demands. And it may partly explain why consumers want more regulation — 80% feel there should be a law to protect their personal data. 

Moreover, 35% of consumers say they will exercise their privacy rights with email providers. However, even more — 37% — will do so with social media. And 24% will assert their rights with ecommerce sites.

Email also figures in shoppers’ fears about how their personal data is used. Here is the roster of their concerns:

  • Social media data sold to third parties — 48%
  • Social media data sold to serve targeted ads — 40%
  • Content of emails to serve targeted ads — 34% 
  • Content of charts to serve targeted as — 28%
  • Health data sold to third parties — 21%



These fears reflect the fact that data collection “goes far beyond email address to precise location biometric and intimate health data,” the study notes.

And they mirror consumer experience — 49% say their personal data was exposed in a large corporate breach. 

Such events are driving consumers to “take their wallets elsewhere” when brands fail to protect them. For instance, 77% would drop their favorite retailer if it did not keep their personal data safe. 

In addition, 78% will stop shopping at their favorite retailer if they find that it sold their personal data. And 54% are either “fed up, frustrated, or creeped out by companies that use their data to serve targeted, personalized data."

In general, 83% of consumers expect to have control over how their data is used by a brand. And 68% feel they should be able to opt out of a company selling their data to a third party.

And personal assistants? A whopping 82% have concerns about businesses monitoring or collecting data from their phone microphones, laptop webcams, home devices like Google Home and Alexa or phones and other devices. That includes location tracking.

Here’s the positive news for retailers, ecommerce brands and social media providers — 73% are willing to pay more to online services that do not sell their data or use their data for marketing. 

DataGrail, a firm that helps clients with compliance, partnered with research firm OnePoll to survey 2,000 Americans. 

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