Privacy Nerves: Most Consumers Won’t Share Anything About Themselves

Privacy Nerves: Most Consumers Won’t Share Anything About Themselves

by , May 13, 2021

For all the buzz about online buying during the pandemic, consumers are wary about releasing information about themselves, according to Consumer Privacy Trends Report 2021, a study from Tinuiti, conducted by Upwave.

When asked what types of data they would share to receive a discount (aside from their email address) fewer than 50% say they would surrender information of any kind. Moreover, 78% overall believe there’s no such thing as online privacy and 79% think their mobile phones are listening in. 

That doesn’t give email marketers and others who rely on data much room to operate in. 

But it depends on age: 60% of people under 40 feel they have control of their data, versus less than 49% of those over that age. 

Among those who trust no one with their data, 41% feel that having phone location services turned on is an unnecessary of privacy — 32% higher than the survey. And only 44% in this group enjoy ads that are relevant to their needs — 30% lower than all respondents. 

Overall, 31% say phone tracking is an unnecessary invasion of privacy, and 23.5% say it is like having a digital stalker. 

Fear runs high. In 2016, then FBI Director James Comey recommended webcam covering back in 2016, and 57% of consumers now cover their laptop webcams. That includes almost 66% of Gen Zers and 84% of millennials. 

Moreover, 74% are cautious even about researching certain topics on the web. 

But go figure — 76% of those who trust none of the major sites are comfortable buying apparel online, 25% higher than the average. And 50% feel the same about buying beauty products, furniture and technology on web sites. 

Of all the respondents, 37% agree that they are cautious about researching certain topics online because they fear it reveals too much personal information. And 37% somewhat agree, whereas 27% disagree. 

Drilling down, 34% of those over 40 agree, along with 39% of phone shoppers and 29% of voice shoppers.  

Understandably, people who visit adult sites are even more careful about covering their tracks, as the study puts it, women in particular. 

Of those polled, 42% of women say they do not visit adult sites,  compared with 23% of men. But of those who do, 60% of women take extra steps to protect their privacy, versus 54% of men. 

Which data will consumers share with marketers? Of those surveyed, 44.1% would provide their phone number, while 42 .7% would provide their location and 31.5% would provide their SMS. 

Asked which websites they would trust with their data, they said:

  • Amazon — 55.3%
  • Google — 43.7%
  • Facebook — 28.2%
  • Other social channels — 10%
  • None of the above — 20.1%

But gender is also a factor here. For instance, 57.9% of women trust Amazon, but only 51.3% of men trust it.

However, men are more trusting of Google, by a margin of 45.8% to 42.4%, and Facebook by 20.9% to 27.2%. Men and women are roughly equal when it comes to trusting none of them. 

People who buy stocks (22%) and financial products (20%) are more aware than others that they are being tracked. 

Among the financial buyers, 71% know that the apps they install track their browsing behavior. And 60% realize their data is sold to other companies.

Among people who fill prescriptions, 68% are aware of the app tracking, and 58% know of the sale of their information. 

Overall, 63% of consumers understand their data is being tracked, and over 50% that it is being sold. People who earned $90,000+ are more savvy about it. 

Via Upwave’s Digital Network, consumers are interviewed in exchange for access to content or a service, such as free wifi. Search & Performance Marketing Daily


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