Most consumers know their personal data is being gathered online. But only 24% trust brands to ethically use that data, according to User Attitudes Towards Privacy, a study released Monday by Incogni.
Moreover, most consumers believe tech companies should be more regulated. They say:
There is not much good news for marketers in the report. One hopeful nugget may be that only a minority of consumers have asked a business to remove their personal data—62% never have, 17% have done so once and 21% more than once.
Of consumers who have made such requests once, 33% say the data removal was successful, as do 24% who have made these requests more than once. But 31% overall do not know the outcome. However, 45% found the process easy, and 17% found it extremely easy.
Another positive tidbit is that younger consumers -- who will eventually dominate the market -- trust private companies more, and are more likely to know about private services for removing data.
In general, 52% of consumers say they understand how their personal data is
being collected online. But only 37% have heard of the dreaded "data brokers."
And of those who have, 21% say they know what data brokers do, and 20% understand how brokers use their personal data.
Of those who do feel they understand what these brokers do, 82% feel tech companies should be more regulated, compared to 73% who don’t know what they do.
Men are more aware of data brokers than women — at 43% versus 31%. But only 29% of males and 20% of females know of services to help them protect or remove their data, men being slightly more aware.
Of those who read privacy policies, 49% think personal data is being sold by private companies. Another 26% disagree, while 25% don’t know.
Another finding is that over 90% have received spam emails, 45% always and 30% often. But few have often experienced personal data breaches.
In addition, consumers agree fully or partially with these statements:
“Awareness being so low indicates there is very little knowledge about cybersecurity and how to act safely online,” concludes concludes Darius Belejevas, head of Incogni. “Teaching girls at a young age about cybersecurity could help empower women to protect their online privacy and safety,”
Incogni surveyed 2,310 U.S. consumers.