Consumers are showing greater concern over how data is gathered online and in apps and smart devices, according to a new study by GroupM, the media investment arm of WPP. The research was conducted in December by GroupM’s Audience Origin (formerly LivePanel) and included 1,000 U.S. consumers.
The findings indicated a decline in the number of consumers who feel comfortable sharing their data on health tracker apps or to allow smart home devices to automatically order refills for household items.
Sharing info. Over three quarters (77%) of respondents strongly or somewhat agreed with the statement: “I worry about how companies use my personal data online.” This was up from 72% in last year’s report.
Also, only a small percentage of consumers believe that the company who makes a device in the home, or its software, should have access to the data. That number is 5.4% in the current study, down from 6.9% in the previous one.
New tech. Consumers are less enamored with new technology in their house. Only 51% of respondents in the survey agreed with the statement: “It’s important my household is equipped with the latest technology.” The survey the previous year had 54% agree.
Also, 32% somewhat or completely agreed that new tech “confuses me,” up from 28% the year before.
Why we care. In this study, the numbers appear to be consistently in the 5% range for drop in consumer sentiment around privacy, data and new technology.
It’s not a massive drop, but it’s not nothing either. Individual brands can overcome this barrier by managing a better conversation with their customers about their privacy and data practices.
Take, for instance, the wide disparity in the way email subscriptions are managed. Some brands offer a one-click unsubscribe, while others hide the option behind a number of additional screens and questions. Marketers can cut through with transparency, and the ones that do will be ahead of the game as privacy law catches up in the states.