Consumers Give Up on the Concept of Total Digital Privacy

Despite widespread security concerns, consumers in the 20-40 age group are ubiquitous users of digital technology across multiple mobile platforms.

consumers and data privacy

The vast majority (80 percent) of consumers ages 20-40 in the United States and the United Kingdom believe total privacy in the digital world is a thing of the past, according to a survey of 2,012 consumers by management consulting and technology services specialist Accenture.

Even so, more than one-half (56 percent) say they are trying to safeguard their privacy by inputting their credit card information each time they make an online purchase rather than having that data stored for future use.

Forty percent believe only 10 percent of their personal data is actually private, and although 42 percent believe vendors and suppliers are using their personal data in order to provide them with more relevant offers, 39 percent believe their data is being sold.

Despite widespread security concerns, survey results also appear to confirm consumers in the 20-40 age groups are ubiquitous users of digital technology across multiple mobile platforms.

Respondents said they own between three and four digital devices per person, on average, and 27 percent own more than four devices.

The survey also revealed they spend an average of between six to six-and-a-half hours per day using a digital device for personal activities including messaging and texting (48 percent), emailing (39 percent), getting news (27 percent) and shopping for a product or service online (20 percent).

"In today’s digital age where consumers are connected and empowered and data is abundant, businesses must align their organizations, technology and strategies to deliver relevant and loyalty-enabling experiences to their consumers," Glen Hartman, global managing director of digital transformation for Accenture Interactive, said in a statement. "As the business leader who typically owns the customer experience for most organizations, the chief marketing officer (CMO) should be in the driver’s seat to encourage a customer-centric digital transformation that generates experiences to meet consumer needs."

Just under one-half (49 percent) of those surveyed said they would not object to having their buying behavior tracked if it would result in relevant offers from brands and suppliers.

Nearly two-thirds of the respondents (64 percent) said that when they are physically in a store, they would welcome text messages from that retailer alerting them to offers matching their buying preferences.

Asked to rank the factors that would make them most likely to complete the purchase of a product or service, respondents’ top three choices were sales and competitive pricing (61 percent), superior products (36 percent) and superior customer experience–both online and in-store (35 percent).

"The relationship with customers is defined by the experiences delivered across marketing, sales, service, online and offline, before, during and after campaigns and transactions–it should be a continuous engagement loop," Hartman continued. "Unless they can provide customers with the most satisfying experience possible, companies in all industries risk losing them to a competitor who can."