Acxiom, the data foundation geared toward marketers, announced Monday (June 18) that, based on a new report in conjunction with the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), U.S. consumers are becoming more open to engaging in data exchanges in return for better offers and services.
In a press release, Acxiom said the joint study dubbed “Data Privacy: What the Consumer Really Thinks” found that 44 percent of consumers in the U.S. feel more comfortable with data exchange than in the past, with that number increasing to 54 percent among millennials. Close to two-thirds of consumers (62 percent) think sharing data is part of the modern economy and that transparency matters when it comes to exchanging data.
Sheila Colclasure, Acxiom’s global chief data ethics officer and public policy executive in the press release, “An overwhelming shift in attitudes is underway as more and more consumers gain awareness and an understanding of the role data exchange plays in contemporary society. This survey shows that people are increasingly aware of the role data plays in our lives and are becoming more conscious of the decisions they make in exchanging data for value.”
The survey also found that consumers considered themselves “data pragmatists,” which means they are open to exchange data with a business if they receive benefits in return and if those benefits are clear. What’s more, close to one in five consumers in the U.S. is “unconcerned” about the collection and usage of their personal data. That feeling, said Acxiom, is particularly true among younger demographics, with one quarter of millennials and 31 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 falling into that category. Americans revealed one of the largest degrees of comfort with data sharing compared to other countries. Acxiom said that in Spain and France, only about one-third of survey respondents said they would be comfortable with sharing more data than previously.
“This report also clearly demonstrates the need for providing consumers with increased transparency and control, a key element of an ethical approach to data use,” Colclasure noted in the same press release. “We’re proud to partner with the DMA today, as we have for nearly 50 years, and to continue to work with the world’s largest brands to provide consumers with data-driven experiences grounded in ethical data practices.”
The survey revealed that 54 percent of consumers rank trust in the organization as the most important fact in deciding to share their personal data. More than four in five survey respondents said its important for the business to be transparent about how they collect and use the data.
DMA Chief Executive Officer Tom Benton added, “Responsible marketers are interested in acting ethically and nurturing customer trust. This is all the more reason for the industry to come together and ensure we’re operating in an environment that drives value to customers. With a steady eye toward security and responsibility and customer relationships that are based on trust, our data-driven future will be bright.”