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Most consumers aren’t comfortable purchasing from brands with poor data ethics

by | Jul 26, 2022 | Marketing, Public Relations

Three in four (75 percent) US and UK consumers are not comfortable purchasing from a brand with poor personal data ethics, according to new research from publishing audience platform Permutive, which affirms that consumers are concerned about their data privacy, being tracked online, and want more choice in the data they share with brands.

The consumer data, from a survey conducted by The Harris Poll, underscores a trend of decreasing consumer trust with targeted advertising. The study found that three-quarters of consumers (74 percent) are concerned about brands being able to view and track their online behavior to target them with advertising. And despite regulatory interventions such as the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, only one in four (27 percent) consumers say they completely understand how their personal data is used by brands and companies to target them with advertising online.

This lack of trust and knowledge in how their data is being used results in consumers opting out of advertising at increasing rates. If given a choice, 42 percent of consumers would not share any personal data online with advertisers, and 51 percent would like to choose the types of personal data to share online with advertisers. When it comes to protecting that data, one in three (34 percent) consumers believe that brands are responsible for protecting their personal data online, even if they have actively or passively shared that data with the brand.

This could mean shrinking revenue for brands and media properties that don’t prioritize consumer privacy

About 9 in 10 (89 percent) consumers say they would be more likely to spend money with a brand that makes a commitment to protecting their personal data online over one that doesn’t.

“There needs to be a focus on sustainable solutions that are grounded in user consent for companies to protect their consumers and their revenue,” said Joe Root, CEO and co-founder at Permutive, in a news release. “We’re faced with consumers opting out of advertising at increasing rates, which will create a bigger shockwave than the demise of third-party cookies. It’s imperative that we rebuild data in advertising to protect consumer privacy by empowering publishers, brands, and adtech partners to work together to use data responsibly.”

The survey results show that the advertising industry is no longer in a position to ignore consumer sentiment regarding data privacy. The entire ecosystem must move toward a more responsible web that is marked by respect for privacy when it comes to the collection, management, and usage of consumer data. By doing so the ecosystem will benefit from privacy-forward advertising that doesn’t compromise on addressability, relevance, or scale.

Key takeaways

  • 75 percent of consumers are not comfortable making a purchase from a brand that has poor personal data ethics.
  • Only 27 percent of consumers say they completely understand how their personal data is used by brands and companies to target them with advertising online.
  • 89 percent of consumers say they would be more likely to spend money with a brand that makes a commitment to protecting their personal data online over one that doesn’t.
  • 74 percent of consumers are concerned about brands being able to view and track their online behavior to target them with advertising.
  • 42 percent of consumers would not share any personal data online with advertisers and 51 percent would like to choose the types of personal data to share online with advertisers.
  • 34 percent of consumers believe that brands are responsible for protecting their personal data online, whether they have actively or passively shared that data.

This survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Permutive between May 31- June 1, 2022, among adults ages 18+ in the United States (n=2,009) and the United Kingdom (n=1,015). This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

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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 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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