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Want Consumers to Share Info? Be Transparent

Internet users demand transparency before dishing out personal details

July 29, 2015

Consumers are willing to hand over data in exchange for money, but concerns about data protection among both marketers and internet users suggest they’ll only go so far. Based on April 2015 research by Gigya, transparency goes a long way in easing these doubts.

Reasons that US vs. UK Internet Users Would Be Willing to Share Information with a Company/Brand, April 2015 (% of respondents)

When the study asked US and UK internet users what would make them willing to share information with a company or brand, respondents were most likely to give in if they knew the information would only be used by the company they were sharing it with. Similarly, web users would also hand over the details if the company had made it clear how they would use their information. Comfort with the amount and type of information they were asked for landed in third.

January 2015 research by Vanson Bourne for EMC indicated that companies were aware of expectations for transparency. Nearly four in 10 business leaders worldwide said their customers wanted greater transparency into interactions with their business than they had between five and 10 years ago.

Consumers’ demand for understanding what exactly they’re getting themselves into is in line with February 2015 polling by Pew Research Center, which found that respondents certainly wanted control over what data companies collected about them. When the study asked US internet users about their attitudes toward digital and offline privacy, nearly three-quarters said it was very important to be in control of who could get information about them, and 65% wanted to control what information was collected about them.

Similarly, 84% of US internet users polled by Princeton Survey Research Associates for the Annenberg School for Communication in March 2015 agreed or strongly agreed that they wanted to have control over what marketers could learn about them online. Unfortunately, many felt they didn’t, with nearly two-thirds agreeing or strongly agreeing that they’d come to accept they had little control over what marketers learned about them online.

Marketers must be transparent when it comes to data collection, and then give consumers the reigns to share what they want.

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