Consumers say they want more control over personal data and transparency from brands

by | Jul 13, 2022 | Public Relations

With continued legislation being introduced, most recently the American Data Protection and Privacy Act, CMOs, advertisers, security and compliance teams, as well as C-level executives are being further pressed to justify the use of personal information in line with consumer expectations. New research from consent experience platform Qonsent explores consumer sentiment about data privacy when it comes to brand engagement, transparency, and data privacy legislation.

These changes will impact the way brands engage with consumers and the survey findings illustrate a growing number of individuals who want more control and transparency over their personal data, according to the new research conducted in May 2022 by Qonsent and CITE Research.

“Data is a valuable asset for both consumers and brands, but what’s more important is the one-to-one connection and trust that is created between loyal communities and brands.  As laws, consumer trust/tastes, and technology shift, we must as well,” said Michael Kassan, chairman and CEO of MediaLink, in a news release. “I feel we’re in a time of culture marketing, where we as marketers have an opportunity to continue to drive movements and make a powerful positive shift in how we engage loyal communities.”

Consumers say they want more control over personal data and transparency from brands

The survey findings also show that transparency practices have an impact on consumers’ purchasing decisions with close to half of respondents (47 percent) saying they try to purchase more from brands that clearly outline how, where, and when their data is being used. Another 30 percent said they only purchase from brands that demonstrate transparency, underscoring the growing importance of data privacy amongst consumers. Not surprisingly, 83 percent of consumers ranked offers of discounts in the top three types of incentives that would encourage them to allow their data to be used.

“Data privacy has become a top priority for American consumers, and even most C-level executives in the absence of any coherent, effective data privacy legislation—at both the state and federal levels,” said Jesse Redniss, CEO and co-founder of Qonsent, in the release. “This survey validated what we have been seeing and hearing, which is that the vast majority of consumers are concerned with how brands collect and handle their personal information. In fact, we found that more than half of consumers feel more secure and/or more empowered when they have control over their personal data.”

Consumers say they want more control over personal data and transparency from brands

Instead of fearing the new laws or cobbling together disparate solutions, marketers and brands should take the straightforward approach and forge a new relationship with their consumers, as 84 percent of consumers said they are likely to share information with companies that clearly communicate how they use their data. The survey also found:

  • 94 percent of consumers said having control over the information provided to companies—and how that information is used—is important, with two-thirds (66 percent) saying it is very important.
  • 61 percent of consumers prefer when a brand communicates how long they will keep personal information on file and how long they will use it.
  • 90 percent of consumers said that the ability to revoke a brand’s access to their personal data in one click is especially appealing.

In addition to consumer data privacy, the survey delved into marketers’ attitudes about impending data privacy laws. Out of the 125 marketers surveyed, the majority (78 percent) are concerned that new legislation will negatively impact consumer engagement. However, over half (63 percent) believe consumers would react positively by increasing loyalty and engagement if brands are transparent about personal data.

Consumers say they want more control over personal data and transparency from brands

“The implications of this survey not only show that data privacy is a growing concern and there’s increased awareness amongst consumers, it’s especially important that we do everything to enable control for consumers,” Redniss continued. “It has become a moral imperative to ensure that each brand builds better experiences through trust and transparency.”

Download the full report here.

The new research conducted in May 2022 by Qonsent and CITE Research, which polled 1,000 US Census-based US adults and 125 marketers.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter