Kelly Scott Madison

Do Consumers Actually Care About Online Privacy?



When it comes to marketing, the answer is complicated. 

Discussing consumer privacy often brings some familiar headlines to mind. Large scale data breaches saw a record high in 2014, with organizations like the Identity Theft Resource Center reporting numbers as high as 783 individual incidents. Whether it was Target, HomeDepot, Neiman Marcus or others, the reaction was often the same: How can this continue to happen, and what’s being done about it?

The simple answers were often that this type of cyber warfare is the “new normal,” and IT departments across both tainted and non-affected companies were scrambling to fortify their systems. But even as these storylines progressed, an even larger question remained for many in our industry: How does this affect the way consumers view marketers’ utilization of behavioral data? Along with the help of research firm ORC International, KSM set out to answer this question and more through its 2015 Media and Privacy Survey (MPS).

Trust and Today’s Consumer

In many instances, the issue ofmarketing trust can becomemuddled by the fact that manyconsumers remain uninformed about what is being shared. The 2015 MPS found that consumers express confusion over what type of data is collected by marketers across various formats, and how that fits into their privacy picture as a whole. While just 34 percent of consumers are “very” to “extremely” aware that advertisers conduct online behavioral messaging campaigns, 20 percent are more or less in the dark. Most importantly, 45 percent of respondents stated they...

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