Data Privacy: US Consumer General Perceptions
U.S. consumers have varying perceptions of data privacy. These perceptions touch on several aspects such as sharing personal data, being in control of data privacy, the value of consumer digital footprint, and how companies handle personal information. Here is a summary of these perceptions.
Sharing Personal Data
- According to Factual, young generations are less concerned about data privacy and are likely to share personal information if it will result in the improved consumer experience.
- A survey done by the company revealed that if consumers knew the benefits they will get by sharing data and that their information will be safe, then they will be willing to share personal details with technology companies.
- 82% of Americans are worried about data privacy and online security. Their top three concerns are identity theft and harm (72%), stolen passwords (64%), and not knowing what companies use their personal information for (59%).
- Consumers consider address and contact information to be more sensitive than data related to their internet browsing habits. Location data comes a distant fourth after birthdate in order of classification as personal information.
- Moreover, consumers fear that revealing their location data can lead to identity theft and fraud (63%), disclosure of home address (63%), anxiety of not knowing what the information is being used for (56%), and illegal use of data to cause digital or physical harm (48%).
Taking Control of Data Privacy
- Generally, consumers feel that it is important to take control of their data privacy. They achieve this by adjusting mobile privacy settings (49%), adjusting social media privacy settings (48%), scrutinizing privacy agreements (46%), adjusting mobile location sharing settings (41%), using ad-blocking software (29%), disabling cookies (27%), and providing false information to companies (13%).
- In another consumer data privacy survey by Cisco, 57% of respondents felt that they could protect personal data today.
- 43% of the consumers felt that it was not possible to effectively protect their personal information with 52% of the respondents being 55 years old and above.
- The reasons that they provide for this feeling are that they have to accept companies to access their data if they are to access certain services (49%), others felt that the firms already had their data (49%), while others didn't trust companies to respect their data privacy policies (41%).
Companies and Personal Data
- There is growing concern among 95% of American consumers that companies are collecting and selling their personal information without their consent.
- Social media platforms are viewed as possible channels that businesses use to collect consumer data.
- 80% of consumers on social media feel that companies access the data they share on these platforms.
- 55% of U.S. consumers feel that the responsibility of protecting personal data on online platforms falls on the companies that collect it.
Value of Consumer Digital Footprint
- While most consumers view their data as sensitive, they vastly undervalue its worth. According to PR Newswire, 60% of consumers are willing to share personal data for free or at a fee as low as $10.
- Consumers underestimate the value companies generate by using the data obtained from their digital footprint. Only a third of consumers value their online data at $100,000 to priceless.