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Discounts Drive Some US Consumers to Disregard Privacy Concerns

41% are willing to let marketers use personal data for discounts

As the progression of digital technology facilitates access to information for individuals, companies and institutions, US internet users are growing increasingly concerned with maintaining a sense of privacy.

A study from TRUSTe conducted by Harris Interactive found that 90% of US internet users have taken action to protect their online privacy this year. This percentage is unchanged from 2012; however, these internet users are doing more in 2013 to keep their information out of advertisers’ hands.

Seventy-one percent of internet users reported that they automatically delete cookies, clear their cache or browsing history via browser settings—up 4 percentage points from 2012. An even greater share said they take privacy into their own hands, as 82% of respondents chose to manually delete cookies and clear their cache or browsing history—an increase from 79% in 2012.

Furthermore, some internet users are so adamant about maintaining a certain level of privacy that they have stopped doing business with a company due to privacy concerns. In the survey, 35% of respondents reported doing so.

But there is one exception a significant portion of consumers would be OK letting marketers use their personal data for: a good deal on products and services. According to an October 2013 survey from Etailing Solutions, 41% of consumers agreed or strongly agreed that they were willing to let marketers use their personal data to provide discounts on goods and services.

The study found that younger respondents were more willing to let marketers use their personal information for discounts, with 19% percent of consumers ages 18 to 24 reporting they strongly agreed with the sentiment.


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