• November 28, 2018

Consumers More Anxious About Sharing Data

While consumers are enthusiastically embracing new technology, they are more anxious than ever and more aware of the risks and benefits of handing over their data to businesses, including social media platforms, according to a new KPMG study.

However, they will gladly trade this information for more personalization, a better customer experience, or a good deal, KPMG noted in its 2018 "Me, My Life, My Wallet" report, based upon a survey of 25,000 global consumers.

The research shows that almost half (47 percent) of consumers feel more anxious than last year, as well as five years ago. Millennial consumers are more anxious (51 percent), compared to Baby Boomers (36 percent).

The majority of consumers are willing to provide businesses with data, but half (51 percent) are anxious about identity theft, and the majority (72 percent) say they don't trust anyone with their social media data.

Despite increasing anxiety and recent data scandals, three-quarters (75 percent) of consumers are still willing to provide businesses with their data, according to the study.

"Consumers are anxious, with younger generations feeling it the most," said Julio Hernandez, principal at KPMG and head of its global Customer Advisory and U.S. Customer Advisory, in a statement. "They like new technology, but are concerned about handing over personal data and what that could mean for their privacy and security. Our research demonstrates that organizations should be aware of the heightened awareness people have about the value of their data; they want to feel that they are in control at every stage of the business relationship.

Younger consumers say they are just as concerned about identify fraud; however, they are more likely to see the benefits of sharing data. Millennial consumers are more likely (21 percent) than their Baby Boomer counterparts (5 percent) to trade data for better customer experience and personalization. And 71 percent of those polled said they would trade their personal information for better personalization, security, or bargains.

Four out of 10 U.S. consumers say engaging in social media presence is important among the companies from which they frequently purchase and 58 percent say they will likely view those offering discounts or deals.

Consumers trust some industries more than others and with different types of data. The following shows some of them, in order of trustworthiness:

Top Three

Bottom Three

Healthcare (60 percent)

Wealth management (37 percent)

Banking (59 percent)

Government (37 percent)

Technology (54 percent)

Advertising (26 percent)

"Businesses all too often view the exchange of data as a one-way street, expecting consumers to give away data with little benefit," said Colleen Drummond, a U.S. partner at KPMG and KPMG Innovation Lab lead, in a statement. "However, as our reliance on technology grows, we're becoming more and more aware of the data we create and are starting to see it as a valuable currency that businesses need to earn if they want to earn our cash. Those businesses that fail to shore up consumer trust in the way they hold, protect and use data will lose out in the long run, and consumers will vote with their feet."

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