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Most consumers are happy to share data, but only if the benefits are clear

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Data privacy is the subject of much debate and discussion in the media. There has also been much speculation about the effects of recent changes to data privacy legislation and well-publicised data breaches will have on consumers’ willingness to share their data.

So, what do consumers around the world think about sharing data, and the benefits and risks of doing so?

Globally, more than half (51%) of consumers are still happy to exchange their data with businesses, as long as there is a clear benefit for doing so. This is despite 74% having some degree of concern about their online privacy.

83% of consumers across all 10 markets surveyed stated that they would like more control over their personal information.

These figures, revealed in the ‘Global data privacy: What the consumer really thinks’ report, commissioned by the GDMA (a group comprised of 27 marketing associations around the world), DMA UK and Acxiom, show that across the globe there is a mature, empowered consumer mindset to online privacy and data exchange.

“We are in a new era of data privacy. Questions have been raised about whether major data breaches and increased talk about the value of our personal data is impacting consumer anxiety over how their information is used. In fact, our research shows that even though consumers are more aware than ever and have concerns about their online privacy, the majority will continue to share their personal information if they trust the organisation and gain something in return,” said Chris Combemale, Group CEO of the DMA.

“It is good to see consumers taking data privacy seriously, though it’s important to understand, they do vary in terms of how they view this subject,” said Jed Mole, European Marketing Director at Acxiom. “The clear trend is towards greater real-life acceptance of data exchange as part and parcel of everyday life. This is good news for marketers who believe in data ethics and adopt the highest standards in data-driven marketing.”

The report concludes that a healthy data economy is built on the foundations of trust, bred by control and transparency. Nearly half (49%) of consumers across global markets put trust in an organisation within their top three factors that make them happy to share personal information with a company. The vast majority of global consumers believe that businesses benefit disproportionately from data sharing, with 78% of consumers on average believing this is the case. This highlights the need for businesses to clearly explain the benefits to consumers of sharing their data when requesting it.

“The post-GDPR era is essential for organisations to continue to build and maintain trust with their customers – it is an ongoing process that must remain a key priority on a company’s agenda. If organisations clearly display the benefits of data exchange to consumers, such as receiving personalised and tailored services, our research indicates that consumers will respond,” added Combemale.

Understanding how to speak to consumers has never been more crucial, and the DMA offers insight, help, training and advice on all things GDPR related. For further information, visit: https://dma.org.uk/gdpr.

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