New privacy, transparency and data-protection research from marketing automation tech firm Sailthru and SHIFT Communications highlights Americans’ frustration with brand transparency—and indicates a strong desire for government regulation on how companies collect and use personal information.

The companies surveyed two groups of online users—individuals who downloaded their Facebook data after the Cambridge Analytic incident in March, and those who did not—to explore their understanding and sentiment towards the collection of personal data.

Americans' dilemma with data—what we learned from Facebook’s breach

“Personal data is not simply property to be acquired, sold and resold, but is permanently and intimately connected with a person, so it must be treated thoughtfully and respectfully,” said Neil Lustig, CEO of Sailthru, in a news release. “As a company that helps brands personalize their customer experience across email, web, and mobile, we are closely tracking consumer sentiment so that we can help our clients develop strategies that benefit both their revenue and their consumers—before regulation tells us all how to do our jobs.”

Americans' dilemma with data—what we learned from Facebook’s breach

Notable findings from the research include:

  • Almost 60 percent of respondents believe the U.S. government should regulate how companies use consumer data.
  • Though more than half of respondents from both groups do not trust brands to keep their data safe, people who downloaded their Facebook data are slightly more likely to trust them than those who did not download it (12 percent vs. seven percent, respectively).
  • More than 42 percent of all respondents from both groups are either not aware or were not sure that when using Facebook to log onto sites, those sites have access to their Facebook and personal data.
  • Nearly half of all respondents from both groups will delete at least one social media account in the next 12 months.

Americans' dilemma with data—what we learned from Facebook’s breach

Download Sailthru’s 2018 Data Privacy Report here.

Sailthru commissioned SHIFT Communications to survey U.S consumers through Google Surveys about data privacy. Each survey was completed by 1,000 respondents with a 95 percent confidence level. The surveys were weighed against the U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey for age, gender, and region of the United States to be representative of the population. Sailthru was the sole investor in both surveys. The survey period was May 17,2018 – May 20, 2018.

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