Marketers still have plenty of work to do to convince UK consumers about the benefits of the online data exchange, with the vast majority of Brits concerned over the collection and use of their information as well as opaque privacy notices.
So says a new study for The Trade Desk, carried out by YouGov among a representative sample of 2,203 consumers, aged 18 and over to understand the consumer perspective on data privacy, security and dimensions of the value exchange of the Internet.
It found that over three quarters (76%) of Brits don’t feel in control of their data online, almost four-fifths (79%) are concerned over the collection and use of their data and nearly seven in 10 (68%) believe the information provided on data use is hard to understand.
This is despite the implementation of the UK Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR back in 2018, which were introduced largely to improve consumer control and understanding around data.
The Trade Desk study shows that this lack of understanding breeds an unwillingness to ‘opt-in’ to data sharing online, risking the future of online publishers dependent on the revenues of data-driven advertising.
However, Brits have a strong appetite to learn, with four-fifths (80%) stating they would like to better understand what data is being collected as they browse the Internet. At the same time, more than half (53%) are more comfortable with their data being used for advertising when they have more control over its use.
The research also finds that paywalls and data walls continue to frustrate consumers and push them to seek content elsewhere. While the majority of Brits (62%) understand that advertising plays a critical role in keeping apps and websites free, more than 8 out of 10 (85%) get annoyed when asked to pay for a subscription to unlock website content.
A similar proportion (86%) feel the same way when asked to create an account, an issue the report authors insists shows a hunger for simplicity and convenience. Almost four-fifths (79%) would prefer to access websites without having to create a unique account for each site – the less time spent entering details online, the better.
However, the majority (72%) of consumers say they are more likely to create an account with a brand when they are provided with clear information about how their data will be used.
A further 77% will only create an account with a brand if they trust them to protect their personal information.
The Trade Desk senior vice-president EMEA Philippa Snare said: “This research reveals both a concerning lack of trust in online data collection and a strong appetite among Brits to better understand how it all works. As an industry, we have an opportunity to come together to give consumers what they clearly want – greater transparency, better control and more straightforward communication.
“Empowering people with more information builds trust and encourages greater data sharing, which is crucial for powering the value exchange of the free content we all enjoy every day.
“The impending removal of third-party cookies is putting pressure on the industry to adopt a fairer identity solution, which is privacy safe, easy for consumers to understand and only requires one sign in.”
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