This week, we’re digging deeper into our recent report around American consumers’ perceptions regarding the use of personal data – focusing specifically on attitudes towards social media companies like Facebook and Twitter. As a reminder, we recently partnered with Harris Poll to survey over 2,000 consumers across the United States to determine what consumers really know and think about how their data is being used by major brands.
While the majority of respondents (67%) expressed a willingness to provide some aspect of personal information in exchange for better, more personalized service – when questioned about the specific industries that would be using their data, sentiments varied significantly. Interestingly enough, when asked what companies are trusted the least to use personal data to create a better end-experience, half of consumers expressed distrust in social networking sites, which was more than any other industry.
So what exactly prompts American’s distrust in social media companies over other industries like travel (10% indicated they trust this industry the least) and hospitality (8%), where hesitation around data-use skewed much lower among respondents? Given the end-goal for using data is to provide a more personalized experience, perhaps consumers see more room for customization when it comes to leisure activities – whereas there’s still some uncertainty around exactly how data is being used behind the scenes with social media.
Consumers are not just opinionated about the industries that are obtaining their personal information – they are also concerned about what aspects of their personal information they are giving up. While a considerable majority are willing to release their name (71%) and contact information (61%), only 48% of consumers surveyed are willing to share their shopping history.
To be accepted, customer behavior analytics needs to be effective and responsible.