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21 January 2022
Digital advertisers not trusted on data protection
Data protection & privacyUnited States
Less than a quarter of consumers trust digital advertisers and social media platforms when it comes to protecting their data, according to a study by the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), the trade body.
Why it matters
Data is central to modern marketing, and the demise of online tracking cookies means that brands will have to build a new type of value exchange around this information. Trust deficits pose a challenge to that endeavour, and hint at wider questions regarding consumer perceptions in the industry.
Usage does not equate to trust
The ARF’s fourth annual Privacy Study was based on a survey of over 1,200 US consumers, and found:
Only 18% of participants trusted digital advertisers where data protection was concerned, a total standing at 23% for social media platforms.
Less than half of respondents trust any organisation to let them control and correct how data is used, to delete this information, or utilise it for their own benefit.
Forty-nine percent of consumers trust social media properties they use frequently, suggesting that consistent return visits do not automatically equate with positive attitudes.
The willingness to share information typically rises for the promise of targeted ads — a figure that rose from 14% to 27% when discussing Social Security numbers, for example.
Consumers not “optimising for privacy”
Consumers are not “optimising for privacy”, with the number of people who regularly change privacy settings, update ad blockers, and so on, coming in at between 15% and 25%.
Around one-third of individuals will “sometimes take these sorts of measures to protect their privacy”, the ARF found.
While consumers typically understand terms like “personalised” and “platforms” in privacy policies, many are not familiar with language like “PII” and “cookie”.