Consumers' Willingness To Share Data Depends On Personal Preference, Study Finds

According to a new survey from digital marketing agency Adtaxi, the vast majority of Americans (95%) are aware that their data is being tracked. Because of this awareness, 86% believe that Google should adjust how they track data and move forward with its plans to eliminate third-party cookies.

Google's delays, however, are ongoing.

Over the summer, the company announced that it would be delaying its replacement of third-party cookies -- a practice long used by advertisers -- to 2024, citing that advertisers may need more time to transition to Google's cookie replacement.

Adtaxi’s survey also found that 38% of consumers would rather share contact information before any other sensitive information such as race, religion, browsing history, and financial information. This statistic is down from last year's reading where 44% of respondents felt comfortable.

In addition, 6 in 10 online users do not typically allow any website to collect personal information of any kind.

But what users are willing to share depends on how much familiarity they feel with specific websites and brands.

Eight-in-ten respondents said they were willing to share their personal data with sites they know. Information most willing to be shared includes contact information such as name, e-mail and street address (37%); browsing history (29%) and app usage, clicks and views (25%).

“The findings from this latest survey are not surprising as users have been increasingly more judicious when it comes to tracking,” said Chris Loretto, EVP of Adtaxi. “As recent news of major companies like Google adjusting tracking information becomes accepted by the public at large, savvy digital marketers must be willing to readjust the way they track data, understand the value of privacy for consumers and learn new ways to deliver impactful marketing that resonate with an educated user-base.”

Just over half (53%) of respondents said their online experience was better when they saw customized ads while online. This is up from 47% in last year's survey and is largely driven by the “somewhat agree” group, who made up 72% of all those who agree. Additionally, only 41% of users are comfortable exchanging information for personalized content.

“As time moves on and privacy changes become enacted in the coming years, this survey data proves that users are becoming more aware and open to sharing information if their needs and expectations are matched with a personalized experience,” Loretto added.

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