B2B Businesses More Likely To Keep Third-Party Ad-Tracking Secrets From Customers

A recent privacy survey finds that 62% of businesses don't tell customers about ad trackers collecting their data, and 55% of 1,416 business leaders polled across the United States and Canada believe their company has well-defined and documented policies.

Austin-based software company Zoho in 2019 removed all third-party tracking from its websites and applications, but wanted to know how consumers and B2B employees felt about being tracked. 

The company commissioned CRM Essentials to discover how frequent data collection tactics are used to capture information lucrative for advertisers, such as a user's site behavior, location, or device type. The findings also show gaps in policies that don’t adequately protect customers or give them control over how their data is collected when they go online or use business software.

Business leaders at companies of varying sizes and industries participated in the survey.

All respondents said their companies allow tracking, and 57% are “comfortable” or “very comfortable” with the way third parties use customer data. Out of 1,220 respondents who were willing to share their thoughts on their data-privacy policies, 55% claim to have well-defined consumer data privacy policies that are strictly applied.

The findings also show that the more employees at a business rely on tracking data to drive revenue, the more comfortable they are with the practice. In fact, the majority of businesses participating in the survey do not believe it's necessary to inform customers they are being tracked. 

B2B businesses are more likely to keep third-party ad tracking secret from customers, with 72% acknowledging they know tracking happens and don’t inform customers, compared to 58% of B2C respondents.

This business practice is also true in California, which has new, strict consumer data-privacy laws. Nearly 70% of California companies don’t inform customers that they allow third-party ad trackers on their websites, yet 56% say their company has a well-defined, documented policy to customer data privacy that is strictly applied, according to the findings. 

  • 85% are aware some third-party code automatically installs tracking code onto its website from companies in which they have no direct relationship
  • 68% said third-party vendors do a “good” or “satisfactory job” explaining how the data they collect from digital properties are used
  • B2B respondents were twice as likely to say third-party platforms have done a “good” job explaining how their data is being used than B2C respondents
  • 36% said third-party ad platforms are the primary factor in their ability to meet sales goals, and the same group was nearly four-times as likely to say they were “very comfortable” with how third-party ad platforms use data they collect
  • Companies that said ad platforms are not a factor in meeting sales goals were almost five times more likely to know that some software automatically installs third-party tracking code onto its website
Next story loading loading..