Shoppers getting comfy with data mining
Consumers are opting for convenience over privacy.
A recent joint study conducted by Acxiom, a data foundation for world marketers, and the Data & Marketing Association, a trade organization for marketers, reveals that almost half of American consumers feel more comfortable with data exchange than they did previously. The study was conducted via an online survey of 2,076 respondents aged 18 and older.
“An overwhelming shift in attitudes is underway as more and more consumers gain awareness and an understanding of the role data exchange plays in contemporary society,” said Sheila Colclasure, Acxiom’s global chief data ethics officer and public policy executive. “This survey shows that people are increasingly aware of the role data plays in our lives and are becoming more conscious of the decisions they make in exchanging data for value.”
The joint study, “Data Privacy: What the Consumer Really Thinks,” discovered nearly half of consumers (44 percent) in the U.S. feel more comfortable with data exchange than they did previously, rising to 54 percent among millennials. Although almost two-thirds of consumers (62 percent) revealed that they believe sharing data is part of the modern economy, the study also shows that trust and transparency are most important to consumers during data exchange.
“This report also clearly demonstrates the need for providing consumers with increased transparency and control, a key element of an ethical approach to data use,” Colclasure added. “We’re proud to partner with the DMA today, as we have for nearly 50 years, and to continue to work with the world’s largest brands to provide consumers with data-driven experiences grounded in ethical data practices.”
With a growing comfort for sharing personal information with companies, almost two-thirds of U.S. consumers say they feel more aware of how their data is used and collected than in the past. Forty-three percent of those surveyed believe that the consumers are responsible for data security, and only six percent believe that the companies or government institutions they share their data with are responsible. Thirty-seven percent believe that a combination of consumers, brands and government should be responsible for data security.
“Responsible marketers are interested in acting ethically and nurturing customer trust. This is all the more reason for the industry to come together and ensure we’re operating in an environment that drives value to customers,” added DMA Chief Executive Officer Tom Benton. “With a steady eye toward security and responsibility and customer relationships that are based on trust, our data-driven future will be bright.”