US and Canadian consumers display high degree of uncertainty about sharing their personal data with companies, according to an October 2011 survey from LoyaltyOne. Almost nine in 10 (88%) consumers say they feel companies are primarily collecting personal information for their own benefit, and 85% are often concerned about how much of their personal information is held by others.
In addition, three in four (74%) consumers do not feel as if they receive a benefit for sharing their personal information, while barely more than half (52%) feel that companies use their information to better serve them. Breaking the response to this question down into consumers who strongly and somewhat agree with the statement, only 9% strongly agree personal information is used to provide better service.
Low Percentages Expect Benefits
When asked to think about benefits and offers they would expect to receive in exchange for providing personal information, only 54% of consumers said they would expect improved customer service, while 55% would expect access to exclusive events/offers.
Scores for expectations of other basic benefits were below 50%, led by tailored offers based on buying behavior (49%). Forty-one percent would expect both advance information on new products and services and communications based on their preferences. Fewer than four in 10 consumers would expect benefits such as an easier buying process, preferential treatment, and product assortment improvements.
1 in 4 Consumers Have Decided Against Purchase
Almost one in four (23%) consumers have decided against making a purchase because they weren’t sure how a company would use their personal information. This figure rises to 30% among consumers who have been notified of a data breach and 37% who have been negatively affected by a data compromise.
Percentages of consumers who have taken a certain action in response to concerns about their personal information similarly rise when the overall population is broken down into consumers who have been notified of a data breach and consumers who have been negatively affected by a data compromise. For example, 41% of consumers have paid cash instead of credit, which rises slightly to 43% of consumers who have been notified of a breach and more substantially to 52% of those who have been negatively affected.
Nearly one in three (32%) consumers has been notified their personal information was stolen or compromised.
Few Consumers Close SocNet Accts, Ask Details
Only 12% of survey takers said they had deleted an entire profile from a social network such as Facebook or Twitter, while 27% said they had deleted some information. Only 6% said they have asked a company what personal information (besides billing) about them is stored in company records.
1 in 5 Consumers Always Read Privacy Statements
Only about one in five (22%) consumers always read privacy statements, while 30% sometimes read them. Another 28% sometimes read privacy statements, 18% rarely read them and 3% never read them.
Gallup: 2 in 3 Americans Oppose Ad Tracking
Two in three (67%) online US adults do not believe advertisers should be allowed to match ads to their specific interests based on websites they have visited, according to a December 2010 Gallup poll. Almost the same percentage (61%) says these methods are not justified even if they help keep the internet free, due to the invasion of privacy.
About the Data: Data is based on completed responses from 1,000 US and 1,000 Canadian consumers age 18 and older to an online survey conducted July 22-27, 2011.