It might be the driving force of the data-driven marketing industry but brand owners are being urged to reappraise how they deal with consumers’ personal data, with growing concerns over how firms are profiting from their information fuelling a greater desire to get a piece of the action for themselves.
According to a study of 1,320 Brits by Invisibly Realtime Research, nearly four in five (79%) people do not approve of companies profiting from their data and a similar proportion (77%) want to control who can access their information.
Even so, nearly half (46%) are keen to earn money for themselves by selling their own data.
Interestingly, the issue is a major concern for consumers across the generations, but it seems the older they are, the stronger the sentiment, with 74% of under 24s against the practice, 87% of 25- to 40-years olds, 85% of 41- to 54-year-olds, and 87% of those over age 55.
When it comes to awareness of companies profiting from their data, 82% of male, 65% of female, and 64% of non-binary respondents are aware that companies are profiting of their data while 18% of male, 35% of female, and 36% of non-binary respondents were unaware that companies were routinely profiting off of their data.
When asked about being able to profit from selling their own personal data, the split is much closer; 54% of respondents had no interest in doing so, but 46% did.
The survey data shows that 53% of male, and 52% of female respondents would earn money off their data if they could compared to 62% of non-binary respondents, who aren’t interested in making money off their data. And, it seems, the younger the consumer the keener they are flog off their own information. Some 53% of respondents under 24, 51% between 25 and 40 and 50% between 41 and 54 said they are interested in earning money from their data. Three-fifths (61%) of respondents aged 55 and over have no interest though.
The survey also shows that, overall, more than three-quarters (77%) of respondents want control of who can access their personal data; equating to 85% of male, 82% of female, and 59% of non-binary respondents.
The report states: “It’s easy to forget that the convenience of using free apps, shopping online, and being able to communicate with people across the world at any time comes with the loss of data privacy and putting our personal information in the hands of companies that will make a profit on it. Never before have companies had more direct access to people’s likes, tastes and shopping habits as they do today.
“It surprised us to see how many people are still unaware that companies profit off of data, and that men were more aware than women, but it is not at all surprising that a solid majority want their data to be private.
“In order to change how data is handled, more people need to be educated on how their data is gathered and used. This will allow for a transition where people can make choices about who has their data and also begin to profit directly from their data. With nearly three-quarters of people wanting control over their data, companies will find a way to make this happen and move to a model of consumer-consented data.”
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