New Privacy Study Finds 79 Percent of Customers are Willing to Provide Personal Information to a ‘Trusted Brand’

Maidenhead, U.K., and Wakefield, Mass. – January 26, 2014
February 26 2014

Press Release

Research from SDL shows consumers are concerned about the use of personal data, but yet are not taking advantage of opt-out technologies

A majority of consumers worry about how marketers use their personal data, but 79 percent are more likely to provide personal information to what they consider a “trusted brand,” according to a new consumer behavior study from SDL (LSE: SDL). The SDL survey also revealed that while consumers are not comfortable with being “tracked” in a physical store, they tend to not read brands’ privacy policies or take measures to opt out of web tracking practices.

These findings highlight SDL’s Data and Privacy Study 2014, the latest in a series of SDL research reports that look at how the new, more empowered consumer is fundamentally changing industries and brands. Now that marketers have access to significant new levels of data and consumer insights, consumers are raising questions about corresponding threats to their privacy, which makes it especially important for organizations to examine the best ways to use information to deliver a consistently compelling and engaging customer experience.

The study surveyed over 4,000 consumers across the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. An in-depth analysis of the results is available by downloading our report and infographic. A summary of key findings includes the following:

Consumers reward trusted brands: Globally, 79 percent of respondents are more likely to provide personal information to a “trusted” brand. The finding underscores the need for brands using digital marketing to develop trust and understand what information consumers are willing to exchange with a brand.
Privacy meets resistance: Overall, 62 percent of survey respondents worry about how marketers are using their personal information. The results suggest a culture of resistance to sharing data online.
Older consumers worry more: In the United States, 59 percent of consumers between ages 18 and 29 worry about data privacy compared with 71 percent between ages 45 and 60. There is less concern about data privacy overall in the United Kingdom (48 percent in the younger generation, 63 percent older) while Australian consumers reflected less of a generation gap (60 percent younger, 66 percent older).

Consumers willing to share certain details: Of the items that consumers are most willing to share, gender, age and income top the list. However, name of spouse, lists of family and friends and Social Security numbers are items that most consumers won’t share with brands.
Loyalty programs beat out free products: Overall, 49 percent of respondents said they would give up personal information for a loyalty program, but only 41 percent would do the same for free products and services. These findings show consumers are less attracted to free offers and more willing to engage with a brand when it communicates clearly and focuses on building trust.
Consumers reject in-store tracking: Of those respondents that have a smartphone, 76 percent are not comfortable with retailers tracking in-store movements via smartphone and Wi-Fi. This shows brands are not communicating the benefits of tracking behavior and purchases. • Consumers aren’t using privacy features: While consumers are concerned about how their data is being used, 72 percent of global respondents rarely or never use “Do Not Track” or “Incognito” features that would allow them to opt out of website tracking.
Consumers skip website privacy policies: Overall, 65 percent rarely or never read a website privacy policy before making a purchase. The most active policy readers are in Australia – where 44 percent always or often read the fine print.

“The survey data clearly shows consumers are concerned with the way marketers are using their data, but they are willing to share certain details with brands they trust,” said Mark Lancaster, CEO and Founder, SDL. “Marketers and brands need to earn that trust to be successful. They need to ensure the customer data they use translates to a better experience for their customers and give customers a compelling reason to share their data. Marketers that understand their customers’ privacy concerns and commit to using customer data judiciously will create a strong customer commitment.”

About SDL

SDL (LSE: SDL) allows companies to optimize their customers’ experience across the entire buyer journey. Through its web content management, analytics, social intelligence, campaign management and translation services, SDL helps organizations leverage data-driven insights to understand what their customers want, orchestrate relevant content and communications, and deliver engaging and contextual experiences across languages, cultures, channels and devices.

SDL has over 1,500 enterprise customers, over 400 partners and a global infrastructure of 70 offices in 38 countries. We also work with 72 of the top 100 brands. For more information, please visit www.sdl.com.

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