Consumers Less Likely to Share Data, ARF Finds

At a time when data is becoming increasingly valuable to the television industry, consumers are slightly less likely to want to share their personal information, according to a new study from the Advertising Research Foundation.

The ARF’s second annual Privacy Study found that consumers were 10 percentage points less likely to be willing to share their home address than in the ARF’s first study, conducted a year ago.

They were eight percentage points less comfortable to share their spouses name, seven points less comfortable to share a personal email address and six point less like to share first and last names.

The results come in the wake of news of data breaches at retailers, credit card companies and credit bureau. Those have left consumers more interested in keeping their personal data secure, especially their social security numbers, financial data and medical information.

“The implications of these findings are critical in light of the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) soon going into effect, which will allow consumers to opt-out of the sale of their personal information to third parties, not to mention the other upcoming state and federal regulations that could impact the ad tech industry,” said Paul Donato, chief research officer at the ARF.

“It is also worth exploring in more detail, why the American people do not see the value in sharing data to improve personalization of advertising messages. In spite of that, more relevant advertising is one of the few reasons the public would consent to share their data,” Donato said.

Offering to customize the consumer experience didn’t dramatically change the data respondents were willing to share, the study found. While consumers understood the advantages of personalized advertising, they did not put much value on personalization or understand the technology that implements it.

Terms such as pixel tags, local storage, server logs, first part data and third party data didn’t mean much to most consumers, although Hispanics seemed to be more conversant about the terms used in privacy statements than other ethnic groups, the ARF found.

The survey also found little trust in media, Congress and advertising.

Those with less than a high-school education trust scientists and experts the least.

Democrats and Asian American increased their trust in Congress by 10%. At the same time Republican said their trust in Congress is down 10%.

Democrats and Asian Americans also showed the most trust in the media and television news.

Baby boomers, Republicans and white are most likely to trust their local police.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.