Emotions That Drive Action - Privacy Concerns

Part
01
of two
Part
01

Fear-based Emotions That Drive Action - Privacy Concerns

Fear, distrust, worry, and anxiety are the main emotions associated with privacy that would best drive people to take action and control their privacy. However, how people react to these emotions depends on their respective generation. Gen Zers and Millennials tend to fear less, trust more, worry less, and are less anxious as compared to Gen Xers and Baby Boomers when it comes to their privacy and online security.

Emotional Climate & Privacy

  • People are nowadays dependent on technology regardless of their age because individuals are on their computers, smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets as these devices have become necessary and easier options to accomplish daily tasks like shopping, banking or getting information.
  • Since technology is deeply rooted in our everyday lives, everyone wants to be protected, everyone wants to surf the web but still feel safe and free.
  • However, in as much as everyone wants to be protected from malware, ID theft, fraud, and have their privacy protected—or rather want to control their privacy—the degree of safety varies across the generations.

Fear

  • Gen Xers and Baby Boomers are fearful or rather more concerned about the privacy of their data than Millennials.
  • In a survey that was commissioned by Rivetz, 90% of the respondents agreed that they would find it important to prevent someone from accessing the content on their smartphone if they lost it. However, despite the fear of losing their phones, Millennials were less concerned about protecting their data compared to other generations.
  • 66% of Gen Xers and 62% of Baby Boomers were more concerned about how securely their IoT devices communicated compared to 33% of Millennials.
  • Moreover, other than personal data that is exchanged between the devices, financial information—which many can term as the most sensitive—is also exchanged. The study found that both Millennials and Gen Zers are not even afraid of this set of circumstances.
  • Millennials and Gen Zers are not motivated by fear as much as the other two generations; 14% of Gen Zers and Millennials are twice as likely to stay signed in to online banking accounts compared with 7% of Gen Xers or Baby Boomers.

Distrust

  • When it comes to trust, Millennials and Gen Zers more trusting than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers; despite many people being wary of losing their privacy in social media sites, Millennials trust security experts and technology firms to help them.
  • A recent report on customer trust trends by Salesforce revealed that consumers are still at a crossroads in giving their personal information to companies because they do not trust them. Nevertheless, the report further shows that 75% of Gen Zers and Millennials are okay in giving their personal information to get more personalized experiences as opposed to 56% of Baby Boomers.
  • Another study found that Millennials and Gen Zers are over 25% more likely than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers to opt for a personalized experience/predictive internet. Moreover, the study also revealed that 50% of Gen Zers will stop visiting a site if it did not anticipate their needs/provide a personalized experience.

Worry

  • Both Millennials and Gen Zers also worry less about their privacy or how much control they have over their privacy than Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. According to a Forbes article, one of the Gen Z interviewees said that he is open to his information being shared because there is no need to hide or worry since if anyone wants to find your data on the internet he or she can.
  • Another interviewee said that as long as she is informed of how the personal data will be used she will have no problem.
  • However, older generations, the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers, worry about losing/sharing their personal information especially after watching news and reading about how companies are getting hacked and having their data stolen.

Anxiety

  • Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are more anxious about what they post and who sees it among other privacy concerns than Millennials and Gen Zers. A study revealed that 32%-37% of Baby Boomers only allow trusted people to see anything they post on social media and employ a lot of privacy restrictions. This can be interpreted to mean Baby Boomers are anxious about sharing their lives on social media platforms.
  • The study further stated that 79%-84% of Boomers are more unlikely to give away personal information such as their birth date, real-world address or social security number on a social media profile.
  • The study further said that Boomers led the other generations in feeling that "[they] consciously try to limit the amount of personal information [they] share online" and this type of statement described them very well.
  • In addition, according to the findings of the research, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers are not only anxious but also least confident that they are protected from online security threats when compared to Millennials and Gen Zers.

Part
02
of two
Part
02

Emotions That Drive Action - Privacy Concerns

After an exhaustive search through industry-related websites, privacy and security reports, articles, surveys, case studies, and other relevant sources, details about the biggest positive emotions associated with solving fear-based emotions such as fear, distrust, worry, and anxiety related to privacy do not appear to be available in the public domain. However, the research team was able to gather valuable insights into the emotions that drive action-privacy concerns and various generation-specific privacy concerns.

RELEVANT INSIGHTS:

EMOTIONS THAT DRIVE ACTION -PRIVACY CONCERNS

  • In a survey conducted by Acquisti and Grossklags, 41% of individuals report a high level of privacy concern because the users rarely read privacy policies to assess privacy risks.
  • Also, "many online social network users disclosed a great deal of personal information despite their privacy concern."
  • Researchers generally "agree that at least six universal emotions exist: fear, disgust, anger, sadness, surprise, and happiness. Positive emotions such as inner strength and resiliency are important to face negative emotions."
  • According to a survey conducted by SAS, 73 % of survey participants said they are more concerned about their data privacy while 64 % of US respondent said they feel their data is less secure.

ACTIONS TAKEN TO SOLVE DATA PRIVACY ISSUES AND CONCERNS:

  • According to a survey conducted by SAS:
    • 66% of survey participants have taken steps to secure their data
    • 77 % are likely to change privacy settings
    • 67% are not accepting cookies
    • 65 % decline terms of cookies
    • 56% of respondent delete applications from mobile devices
    • 36% removes a social media account
    • 31 % said they were “not at all confident” social media companies would keep their data secure
    • 56% of millennials are not as privacy conscious as the average internet user; they prefer blocking ads.
    • 53% of millennials used an ad blocker because of privacy and cybersecurity. Thus, Ad-frustration is driving this group to deploy ad-blockers.

GENERATION SPECIFIC CONCERNS:

Millennials

  • Seventeen percent of millennials surveyed said that they didn't have any real privacy concerns.
  • About 44% of millennials feel strongly that the Internet and other technological advances have invaded their privacy.
  • Also, 34% had mixed feelings and admitted that they do go online and hope for the best.
  • Millennials are aware that using some online applications, especially social media, can cause a lack of privacy and even lead to personal harassment.
  • According to a survey conducted by SAS, 66% of Millennials are more concerned about data privacy.

Baby Boomers

  • Baby Boomers are warier of losing their privacy as compared to millennials. They are wiser, more cautious, and more experienced than millennials about privacy.
  • According to a survey conducted by SAS, 78% of Baby Boomers are more concerned about data privacy.

Generation Z

  • Generation Z prefers privacy when speaking to their voice assistant and that using it in public; they reckon it "just looks weird."
  • In terms of data privacy, gen Z is rather desensitized to the request for access to their personal information.

Generation X

  • About 66% of Gen Xers and 62% of baby boomers were more concerned about how securely their IoT devices communicated compared to 33% of millennials.
  • Another study also found that millennials and gen Z are over 25% more likely than Gen X and Baby Boomers to opt for a personalized experience/predictive internet.
  • According to a survey conducted by SAS, 72% of Gen Xers are more concerned about data privacy.

Research Strategy:

We commenced our research by looking at the privacy concerns that are prevalent in Americans aged 30-49 that have an annual income of at least $100,000 in sources such as reports and media articles from platforms such as Pew Research, Nielsen, goodtherapy.org, and whatismyipaddress.com. While these sources provided data and insights into individual disposition towards privacy, none of these details was specific about Americans aged between 30-49 year old that have an annual income of at least $100,000.

Next, we searched for case studies and psychological studies conducted on the subject matter. The idea was to first check if any information is available for the Americans who are 30-49 year old and have an annual income of at least $100,000. Our search through journals and security-related websites did not yield any specific information regarding the target demographic. Due to this, we expanded our search to the general population, through which we found some useful generation-specific insights regarding privacy. We also looked for surveys in sources such as PwC and Deloitte to check if any information is available for Americans who are 30-49 year old and are in the income bracket of at least $100,000. As per the survey conducted by PwC, 18% of the respondents who were familiar with voice technology have never used a voice assistant—and half of those, (9%) have no interest in using one in the future. However, there was no mention of positive emotions associated with solving fear-based emotions such as fear, distrust, worry, and anxiety related to privacy.

We also through government sources and white papers in sources such as SAS, cfr.org, and fas.org to see if any positive actions have been taken in dealing with fear-based emotions such as fear, distrust, worry, and anxiety related to privacy. The idea was to see if any complaints and personal experiences have been shared by people across different generations. Though the sources mentioned the information about the different actions taken to secure their personal data, they do not, however, mention how these actions help in overcoming fear-based emotions such as fear, distrust, worry, and anxiety related to privacy.
We also attempted to extrapolate reasonable insights into the subject matter. To do this, we looked and checked the consumer behavior of Gen Z, millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers and their approach towards the specific emotion related to privacy concerns. The sources we explored mentioned the information about concerns of all generations for privacy matter like ad-blocking motivations. However, these issues are related to privacy concern we not mentioned. We also attempted to broaden the scope of our research into North America using the outlined strategies above, but we were unable to retrieve any reasonable insights asides the ones shared above.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
Quotes
  • "Millennials (the generation born between 1980 and 2000), who have lived in an era of constant technological advancement. So it's not surprising to learn that about a quarter of that group said that technology is actually good for their privacy."
Quotes
  • "Although a slim majority of consumers are wary of companies’ intentions when it comes to handing over personal data, Gen Z and millennials are more game to take that risk — as long as they are getting something in return."
Quotes
  • "When it comes to data privacy it appears that Gen Z is rather desensitized to the request for access to their personal information."
Quotes
  • "While most people want more internet security and privacy, they do very little to make use of the tools and techniques that are available to give them what they want."