Most Brits know ‘nothing’ about how brands use their data

More than half (65 per cent) of Brits know admit to knowing nothing about what companies do with their personal data.

A survey of 5,007 consumers in the UK, Germany, France and Australia conducted by IPSOS and Publicis Sapient found that of those Brits who know a lot about what companies do with their data, 40 per cent were able to see the benefits of companies collecting more information about them.

However, the majority remained in the dark about what happens to their data once companies have it, while 48 per cent of Brits said they worried that data collection could be harmful.

When age is taken into consideration, Baby Boomers were more likely to view data collected about them online as harmful (55 per cent) compared with Generation X (46 per cent), Millennials (43 per cent) and Generation Z (32 per cent).

Despite widespread concerns, data privacy guarantees appear effective, with just under half (49 per cent) stating that knowing a company would not sell or share their personal data is more of an incentive to share than just being able to delete it.

The majority of respondents also said technology has a positive impact on people’s lives (64 per cent), greater than the 58 per cent across all countries surveyed.

Brits also see more value in their data than any other country in the survey, with 42
per cent stating their data was worth more than the services they currently receive.

When it came to specific data, UK consumers were nearly twice as comfortable sharing their race or ethnicity (48 per cent), as they were their contact information (29 per cent) and location (28 per cent).

They were also less comfortable sharing biometric (16 per cent), issued (9 per cent)
and digital data (8 per cent), the report found.

Max Kirby, digital identity practice director at Publicis Sapient, said “There is a clear connection between a person’s familiarity with data and their willingness to share valuable information."

"Our research indicated that privacy-sensitivity is emerging as a new form of personalisation, reflecting how a business approaches a high-privacy sensitive customer versus a low-sensitivity customer.”

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