Nine numbers on what the consumer really thinks | DMA

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Nine numbers on what the consumer really thinks


Now we have launched our 'Data privacy: what the consumer really thinks' research, we thought we would take you through nine key numbers that you need to remember.


There is evidence of gradual, long-term societal shift towards acceptance of data exchange. 72% agree that sharing data is part of modern economy. Another 51% believe data sharing is ‘important to the future success of the UK economy’.


In 2012 the Future Foundation developed a segmentation model, and produced three types of consumer - the pragmatists, who consider when and where to share data. The proportion of pragmatists grew from 53% to 54% between 2012 and 2015. The fundamentalists, who are opposed to data sharing, who shrank from 31% to 24%. Finally the not concerned, who don't care either way about data sharing, grew from 16% to 22%. In total, just over three-quarters of society are not emotionally or ideologically opposed to data sharing.


Overall privacy concerns are reducing, while awareness of data privacy grows. The public are more aware and confident. 67% feel more aware of how their data is collected than they did in the past.


When asked about news stories like the NSA revelations, 75% said they had heightened awareness of data because of the story. Despite this, overall privacy concerns have not increased. Consumers can separate snooping from marketing.


Awareness of EU data protection regulations. This may be a misapprehension by consumers, as the number seems very high at 46%, particularly while the regulation is currently under negotiation. However, this does show that data protection issues are far more front of mind.


Trust is the key consideration. When asked what is the most important consideration for sharing data, trust is by far the most important consideration. 58% of consumers said trust, compared to 30% who said lower prices, 30% said freebies, 25% said knowing the brand.


Consumers prefer direct incentives in exchange for their data. The proportion of consumers willing to share personal information in exchange for better offers and services grew from 47% to 57% between 2012 and 2015. The most persuasive incentives were cash reward (35%), freebies, (34%) and discounts (27%). Indirect incentives, while very useful, were not as popular, with 14% opting for tailored products, and 11% tailored tips. Consumers are interested in the link between the information they share and the benefits they receive.


The proportion of consumers who think they benefit from data exchange with business is just 7%. This compares to 80% who say businesses benefit. Businesses need to make the case for data exchange and more clearly demonstrate the benefits they offer. However, with Consumer Capitalism is on the rise, the proportion viewing their data as an asset has risen from 40% to 52% between 2012 and 2015. The proportion who view their data as personal property is 81%. Younger consumers feel they get more out of data exchange. In the 18-24 year group, 20% think they benefit from data exchange, three times the average.


The majority want control of their data, with 90% agreeing that they want more control over personal information. Consumers also feel they are responsible for their data, rather than business or government. But they don’t have the level of control they are after. There is a control deficit. 56% say they have little control over preventing companies collecting information, 55% say they can't prevent sharing with third parties, 52% ask company to delete data.

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