Privacy Study Finds Consumers Less Likely To Share Several Key Data Elements
Monday, September 09, 2019
Last month, the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) announced the results of its 2019 Privacy Study, which was conducted in March. The survey included 1,100 consumers in the United States weighted by age gender, and region. Key findings including device and internet usage:
"The key differences between 2018 and 2019 are: i) People are spending more time on their mobile devices and less time on their PCs; ii) People are spending more time checking email, banking, listening to music, buying things, playing games, and visiting social media via mobile apps; iii) In general, people are only slightly less likely to share their data than last year. iv) They are least likely to share their social security number; financial and medical information; and their home address and phone numbers; v) People seem to understand the benefits of personalized advertising, but do not value personalization highly and do not understand the technical approaches through which it is accomplished..."
Advertisers use these findings to adjust their advertising, offers, and pitches to maximize responses by consumers. More detail about the above privacy and data sharing findings:
"In general, people were slightly less likely to share their data in 2019 than they were in 2018. They were least likely to share their social security number; financial and medical information; their work address; and their home address and phone numbers in both years. They were most likely to share their gender, race, marital status, employment status, sexual orientation, religion, political affiliation, and citizenship... The biggest changes in respondents’ willingness to share their data from 2018 to 2019 were seen in their home address (-10 percentage points), spouse’s first and last name (-8 percentage points), personal email address (-7 percentage points), and first and last names (-6 percentage points)."
The researchers asked the data sharing question in two ways:
- "Which of the following types of information would you be willing to share with a website?"
- "Which of the following types of information would you be willing to share for a personalized experience?"
The survey included 20 information types for both questions. For the first question, survey respondents' willingness to share decreased for 15 of 20 information types, remained constant for two information types, and increased slightly for the remainder:
|Which of the following types of information
would you be willing to share with a website?
|Information Type||2018: %
|First & Last Name||69||63||(6)|
|Personal Email Address||61||54||(7)|
|Place Of Birth||62||58||(4)|
|Race or Ethnicity||90||91||1|
|Social Security Number||10||10||--|
& Last Name
The researchers asked about citizenship status due to controversy related to the upcoming 2020 Census. The researchers concluded:
The survey finding most relevant to these proposals is that the public does not see the value of sharing data to improve personalization of advertising messages..."
Overall, it appears that consumers are getting wiser about their privacy. Consumers' willingness to share decreased for more items than it increased for. View the detailed ARF 2019 Privacy Survey (Adobe PDF).
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