Media Professionals Disconnected From Consumers' Views On Protecting Data, IAS Study Finds

Media professionals are not in sync with consumers when it comes to their understanding of data privacy policies, the degree of concern about how policies will impact work, and what organizations are doing to navigate these changes.

While consumers agree that data privacy is a priority, only 50% feel confident in the security of their online data when browsing the web, according to the study released Monday by Integral Ad Science (IAS).

About 62% of media experts agree that an understanding of data privacy is a priority this year, and 89% say privacy related to personally identifiable information (PII) is top of mind for bran

IAS conducted the 2022 Future of Privacy-First Advertising Report in partnership with research firm YouGov. The report aggregates findings from 1,131 consumers and 346 digital media experts on their perspectives regarding online data and privacy policy changes, the future of ad targeting and how media quality solutions can empower marketers to deliver.  



Only 53% of media professionals are familiar with browser-level cookie deprecation, while 52% are familiar with regulatory issues like GDPR, and 45% are familiar with device-level Apple Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA).

Most media experts are concerned about changing policies impacting their ability to plan for their digital media buys, with 89% citing privacy related to PII, 88% pointing to cookie deprecation, and 87% related to IDFA.

Still, 48% say privacy policies will mostly impact social platforms, followed by 36% who cite mobile, 34% who cite ecommerce, 27% who point to search, 26% who cite outcomes measurement, and more.

The data shows consumers have “substantial concerns” about the security of their personal information online, lack of awareness of data privacy legislation to regulate the collection and use of their personal data, and high levels of discomfort with their online data being used for advertising purposes.  

More than half of consumers -- at 57%% -- say they are uncomfortable or very uncomfortable with seeing targeted ads for a particular brand after interacting with or talking about the brand.

Some 72% of consumers say they have conducted a search on an engine for a brand or product and saw that brand’s advertisement shortly after. About 68% say they have visited a brand’s website and saw that brand’s advertising shortly after, and 61% talked about a brand/product and saw that brand’s advertising shortly after.

The report also looks at how brands are currently navigating cookie depreciation through contextual, privacy-first advertising strategies that target consumers without using personal data. 

Some 55% of consumers are unaware of any data privacy legislation that regulates the collection and use of personal data, and 67% of consumers agree that they are more vigilant about their online data and privacy than ever before.

Interestingly, consumers mostly place the onus on themselves for keeping their personal data secure. Some 52% say they are responsible, 40% believe the website or app is responsible, and 75% believe the government is responsible.

When asked to site the online activities done in the last 30 days to protect their privacy online, 52% said cleared browser history, 51% said cleared browser cookies, 49% said used privacy mode when browsing, 45% said adjusted privacy permissions and setting, and 38% said used an ad blocker.

About 41% say they do not want to share data, but when they do, 34% said they are most coforatble with sharing the data with shopping sites. Followed by 26% with video streaming sites, 24% with social media platforms, 20% with audio streaming sites, 18% travel sites, and 16% email or messaging sites.

Still, 30% are concerned about email hacks, 24% about data misuse by financial institutions, and 15% by political warfare. 

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