Megan Keane

Associate Director of Integrated Strategy | dentsu Americas

Countless headlines predict that data will face a revolution at the hands of consumers. We’re approaching a critical juncture; one where consumers are both realizing the value of their personal information and becoming empowered to take control. At least that’s what the headlines say…

We pushed beyond speculation to hear the perspective of those who matter most: consumers. Our new Taking the Pulse survey uncovered several profound shifts in their attitudes around privacy – from the very definition of the word to who should control personal information.

Below you can find a high-level overview of our key takeaways. You can also download in-depth findings with actionable takeaways for marketers on our website.

5 Shifting Consumer Attitudes:

1. The consequences of losing privacy are being realized. Our survey found that consumers are not only awakened to the dangers of data sharing but also beginning to take action. 78% of respondents had either “significantly” or “somewhat” reduced the amount of information they share with companies/brands in recent years.

2. Technology is actively shaping our notion of privacy. The pervasiveness of technology has shifted privacy from the worry of those with “something to hide” to a universal concern. However, that definition of privacy is in flux, as each generation becomes more immersed in technology.

3. Consumers want insight, not necessarily control. We uncovered a gap between consumers wanting ownership of their data and actually being prepared to take control. While 80% of respondents said data was something they owned, they were most likely to assign the responsibility of protecting it to companies. We also found that companies can maintain their position by offering consumers transparency - 49% of respondents said they were most comfortable sharing their information when a company/brand was “transparent about how it will be used.”

4. If data is an asset, consumers want compensation. With the realization that data has value, consumers have new ideas about how to benefit from that value. In fact, 37% of respondents who first told us that data sale was not okay changed their minds after being offered compensation.

5. Young people are privacy advocates, too. While it is widely assumed that young people are less concerned about privacy than older generations, our findings indicated they are perhaps more selective about the companies they share data with.

So, what does this mean for modern marketers? As the conversation around data and privacy continues to grow in size and intensity, marketers can’t approach it as a compliance challenge. The true opportunity is harnessing privacy to build brand equity and future-proof business.

Download the report now