Young driving growing acceptance of the data exchange

young peopleThe youth of today are driving a major change in how the UK as a whole feels about companies handling their personal information, with a growing realisation that the data exchange not only powers the digital world, it also saves them cash.

That is the conclusion of a UK-specific analysis from the 2022 Global Data Privacy: What the Consumer Really Thinks report, carried out by the DMA, the Global DMA and Acxiom, which last week published its global findings.

The UK report is now in its fourth iteration and represents over a decade of tracking since it was first conceived in 2012.

The rise of the “data unconcerned” segment, people who show little or no concern about their data privacy, has doubled over the past ten years. This increase has been an established trend in the UK since 2012 – with this segment growing steadily from 16% in 2012, to 25% in 2018, and 31% in 2022.

“Data fundamentalists”, who are unwilling to provide personal information even in return for service enhancement, are in decline – this group has reduced from 31% in 2012 to 23% in 2022.

The report consistently highlights age as a key influencing factor in levels of confidence and comfort with interacting with the data ecosystem. For example, 40% of 65+ consumers are “data fundamentalists”, but this drops to just 9% of 25- to 34-year-olds, and only 9% of 18 to 24s.

“Data pragmatists”, who are happy to exchange data with businesses so long as there is a clear benefit for doing so, continue to make up the largest proportion (46%), as was the case with 2012’s report (53%).

DMA chief executive Chris Combemale said: “As the UK’s digital economy, alongside digital markets around the world, continue to advance and mature, there has been an increase in public ease and engagement with data sharing and the digital world. Younger people are digital natives – this is reflected in both their willingness to share data and acceptance of its importance to modern society.”

The proportion of all UK consumers who claim to have high levels of concerns about their online privacy has also fallen over the past decade, from a high of 84% in 2012 to a new low of 69% now, and although still high, there are interesting nuances within the figures, the report reveals.

The fall in levels of concern over online privacy is being driven by younger age groups; for 54% of those aged 18-24 are concerned compared to 77% of the 65+ cohort.

Acxiom head of privacy and legal EMEA Alex Hazell commented: “As people get ever more familiar with data and technology, as well as the benefits they can offer, their overall concern is falling.

“This reality, borne out by consistent, independent research spanning ten years, appears to contrast with sensationalised claims in some quarters. People’s familiarity is beginning to translate into better understanding which, in turn, leads to greater transparency and trust. Efforts to increase understanding and transparency must continue, not just to satisfy lawfulness but also because it is good for brands and people.”

Meanwhile, the number of UK consumers who view the exchange of personal information as essential for the smooth running of modern society has grown dramatically over the previous decade, rising from 38% in 2012 to 60% in 2022.

Since 2012, there has been a clear shift towards a UK consumer who is more likely to view personal data as having an intrinsic value that can be used for personal advantage. In 2022, 61% view their personal information as an asset that can be used to negotiate better prices and offers with companies, up from 40% in 2012.

The DMA claims these are encouraging findings considering the Government states that the digital economy alone adds over £400m per day to the UK economy, and that the sector is growing six times faster than the average.

Combemale concluded: “Overall, concern with data privacy is in decline, while the levels of happiness with the amount of data shared and comfort with the notion of data exchange are on the rise. If your product or service creates real benefits for people by using their data then you should say so, openly and proudly. Consumers will reward you with their trust and their custom.”

Related stories
Customers will share data but don’t rest on your laurels
The only way is ethics: Brands urged to sign data pledge
CMOs embrace data ethics but firms need to catch up
Brands urged to ‘do the right thing’ over data privacy
Data-driven marketing is ‘continuing to rule world’
Data-driven activity? What’s not to like, say chiefs
Data strategies storm into global marketing teams

Print Friendly