People willing to share data with brands increasingly want to know that the value they receive outweighs the risk of the data being compromised — so a greater number, especially older generations, are clearing their browser history and cookies, according to survey findings released Wednesday.
InfoGroup surveyed 1,000 consumers to better understand their attitudes toward privacy. The report — Privacy Matters: How Different Generations Think About Their Data — reveals the differences between generations and provides insight into the strategies companies can implement to build consumer trust.
Concerns about privacy continue to grow. Some 88% of consumers surveyed are concerned about the privacy of their data, and 80% are much more concerned today compared with the past.
Some 60% of consumers believe privacy no longer exists in this “hyper-connected” world, yet 57% are alarmed when they see a product they searched for online advertised on social media like Facebook or Twitter. This suggests a lack of understanding of common marketing tactics that use consumer data to improve targeting and ad relevance.
All respondents, especially adults ages 55 and older, said they take more action to protect their data, despite the fact respondents expect companies to protect their data. Many consider it a risk to provide personal data and credit card information to businesses.
In fact 65% of the consumers surveyed strongly agree or agree it’s a risk to give a company their personal information like email and phone number.
Some 55% of consumers “strongly agree” that companies they do business with should keep their data secure, followed by 28% who agree, 10% who neither agree or disagree, and 5% disagree. Only 2% strongly disagree.
Consumers are more thoughtful about using a desktop computer versus a mobile app when sharing sensitive information, believing the difference to be important to their data’s security.
Those ages 55 and older are quick to say they restrict their social media use in order to avoid exposing personal information. Facebook’s user data shows that people 55 and older tend to be heavy users of the platform. Baby boomers register the highest growth in adoption of Instagram and WhatsApp.
The research also reveals that other generational attitudes vary based on a company’s sector. Among senior age groups in particular, financial services and healthcare are considered the most trustworthy sectors. Younger generations also consider these traditional industries the most trustworthy, although to a slightly lesser extent.
Younger generations tend to trust newer industries, such as email providers and tech companies, more than older generations.
Older generations are less comfortable with newer technology services than their younger counterparts, but they are not completely averse to the idea. Voice-recognition technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri, for example, present a particularly promising area for innovation, even if most consumers still use them for activities like playing music or turning off the lights.
Regulations and compliance can help ease fears consumers have regarding trust. In fact, 74% of cyber security professionals believe compliance requirements are a “very” or “extremely” effective way to keep data secure.
While marketers sometimes view privacy legislation as a deterrent, because it may limit marketing efforts, consumers see it as a source of security.
When brands explain the ways they comply with regulations and protect customer data, consumers are occasionally willing to consent to sharing their data, although the majority of survey respondents have no knowledge of CCPA or GDPR.