Study: 80 Percent Of US Consumers Willing To Give Personal Info To ‘Trusted Brands’

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A majority of Americans say that the technological developments of the next 50 years will have a positive impact on society, with 59 percent holding an “optimistic” view of various future tech advances ranging from positive to downright pervasive. (credit: Patrick Lux/Getty Images)

A majority of Americans say that the technological developments of the next 50 years will have a positive impact on society, with 59 percent holding an “optimistic” view of various future tech advances ranging from positive to downright pervasive. (credit: Patrick Lux/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – A solid majority of consumers are wary of allowing marketers to use their personal data, but an even larger majority (80 percent in the US) are willing to provide personal information to a “trusted brand.”

A new privacy and consumer behavior study of 4,000 consumers from the content management and analytics firm, SDL, finds that while consumers express concern about marketers’ wide range of eye-in-the-sky insights to their purchase power, many do not take advantage of privacy technology.

More than three-quarters of the smartphone users (76 percent) surveyed in SDL’s Data and Privacy Study 2014 said they aren’t comfortable with retailers tracking in-store movements with smartphone and WiFi-tracking technology.

In contrast to the nearly 80 percent willing to provide personal information to “trusted brands,” 62 percent of consumers said they worry about how markets are using their personal information, with older respondents being more concerned than those younger.

Slightly less than half (49 percent) of consumers responded that they would give up personal information for a loyalty program, and only 41 percent said they would give age, income or Social Security information up for free products and services.

But despite the majority of consumers expressing privacy concerns with personal data and in-store tracking, a large portion of those surveyed take no actual safeguarding steps.

Overall, 65 percent of consumers rarely or never read a website’s privacy policy before they make a purchase.

And despite solid opposition to marketer tracking, 72 percent of consumers responded that they rarely or never use “Do Not Track” or “Incognito” privacy features on their phones, computers or other technology.

And part of the privacy concerns may be influenced by who consumers think is watching out for them instead of who is just simply watching: 65 percent of American consumers said they expect consumer protection groups to monitor how brands use personal data. This was the highest level of trust between the U.K., Australia and the U.S.

“The survey data clearly shows consumers are concerned with the way marketers are using their data, but they are willing to share certain details with brands they trust,” Mark Lancaster, CEO and Founder, SDL, told The Wall Street Journal.

“Marketers and brands need to earn that trust to be successful. They need to ensure the customer data they use translates to a better experience for their customers and give customers a compelling reason to share their data. Marketers that understand their customers’ privacy concerns and commit to using customer data judiciously will create a strong customer commitment.”

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