Consumers would rather abandon their purchases than compromise personal data - report

A new survey suggests that 70% of consumers have abandoned their purchases because they didn't trust the way their data would be handled.

The COVID-19 related restrictions and lockdowns pushed more consumers towards online shopping. According to the latest KPMG report, 70% of business leaders said they increased the collection of personal consumer data over the last year. One-third even admitted consumers should be concerned about how their company uses their data.

The report also highlighted that privacy is a growing concern for the majority (86%) of consumers.

It's not hard to imagine why. When well-established companies, such as Twitch or T-Mobile, fail to secure personal data, consumer awareness surrounding data privacy increases.

A new survey by the marketing technology firm Wyng suggests that most consumers (70%) abandon their purchases because they don't trust the way their data would be handled.

In the light of the increasing phishing attacks, this might seem like a relatively optimistic report about people being aware of the risks. However, Wyng co-founder Wendell Lansford explained that consumers are less concerned about the privacy implications on their digital footprints, like their browser history and search data. They worry about how companies may use their phone number, biometric data, and email address.

Young woman looking excitedly at cellphone and a line of white clothes hooked on a rack in the backg

"Said another way, clicking a link is one thing, but entering personal data into a form (e.g., to intentionally share a phone number) is quite another - in the latter case, a brand's level of transparency and clarity of intent with respect to data & privacy matters a lot," he told CyberNews.

According to the survey, a third of people do not read privacy policies. But that's not the only way the brand signals its posture concerning privacy.

"Numerous other factors are involved - what's the first impression the brand gives as it relates to data privacy, at what moments does the brand ask for data, what's the experience like in the moment a brand asks for data (how much data is requested, does the consumer sense any "dark patterns," etc.), and how clear is the brand with respect to why they are asking for data and for what purpose the data will be used," Lansford said.

For example, intrusive email capture pop-ups on the first visit to a site or distracting cookie banners don't offer the best first impression.

"If the privacy nutrition label for an iOS app looks piggy, people are of course less likely to download the app - our survey results showed that 57% of people avoid downloading an app to get out of sharing personal data," Lansford explained. Wyng claims the survey is representative. It was conducted via SurveyMonkey between August 2-3, 2021, among a national sample of 1,106 American adults aged 18 and older.

Consumers feel more comfortable when the brand explicitly asks for their consent to collect specific data without sharing it with a third party.

When it comes to a personalized experience, people are willing to trade their data for it. More than half of respondents say that they'd be more comfortable interacting with a brand online if it only used their data to create a personalized experience for themselves.

More than 60% of respondents say they would be willing to share more personal data with an e-commerce site if it made it easy for them to see the data they've shared and allowed them to update or revoke it whenever they want.

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