Hey Marketers, Consumers Believe Privacy Is A Human Right

Consumers have largely been okay with brands knowing where they live, how old they are, where they shop and how they buy and pay for goods and services. They are okay with it because in exchange they get a better shopping experience, despite knowing it all comes with risks of misuse and theft of their data.

Apparently that sentiment has changed, along with the power of information. Those with access to information hold the power.

KPMG surveyed 1,000 North American consumers to learn more about how they feel about data privacy. The survey reveals consumers still agree data privacy is important, but now they want companies to take significant steps to better protect, manage and ethically use their data.

U.S. consumers are finally paying attention to how brands use their data and many distrust how it’s being used. Some 83% say they are worried about data breaches and the potential theft of their social security number. About 54% do not trust companies to use their personal data in an ethical way. Half do not trust companies to protect personal data.

  • 87% of consumers say data privacy is a human right
  • 68% don’t trust companies to ethically sell personal data
  • 56% say companies should prioritize giving consumers more control of their data in 2020
  • 84% are open to state legislation giving consumers more control
  • 91% say corporations should take the lead in establishing data responsibility.



Despite their concerns, consumers engage in risky behavior. Some 78% of respondents say they consider it risky to use the same password on multiple accounts, but they still do.Some 75% use public Wi-Fi and 74% save a card to a website or online store. Yet more than 40% do each of those things.

Some 63% of consumers see cloud computing as risky, they are less worried about online voting or facial recognition for login, with 51% and 42%, respectively calling them risky.

COVID-19 has impacted the way consumers feel about data privacy.

While 75% of consumers say they think more about data privacy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many are willing to forgo some person data privacy to combat the spread. Some 85% said they would share a diagnosis with their employer to help get back to work faster, and 67% would share information about their lifestyle.

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