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BizReport : Internet : October 08, 2012

Consumers want to be rewarded for sharing personal data

Businesses that don't act quickly to demonstrate that collecting personal information benefits consumers run the risk of eroding relationships, according to a new online survey conducted by loyalty and analytics firm LoyaltyOne.

by Helen Leggatt

According to LoyaltyOne's survey of over 1,000 U.S adult consumers and 1,000 Canadian adult consumers, over three-quarters (78%) do not feel as if they are receiving any benefit whatsoever for all the data they have shared with companies. That figure has risen by four percentage points since 2011.

Furthermore, less than half believe companies are using their data to better consumer experiences and engagement.

Consumers know that companies need their personal data, but the vast majority feel that companies use data purely for their own benefit.

LoyaltyOne's survey found that if companies were more likely to reward consumers for sharing personal information, almost two-thirds (63%) would share more information, down from 67% in 2011.

"Marketers' efforts to create relevant customer experiences through data need to be re-addressed or they run the risk of their efforts not resonating with customers," says LoyaltyOne president, Bryan Pearson. "Consumers are disappointed. For years they've provided their valuable information and they're not realizing something of suitable worth in return."

Additional results from the survey include:

- 50% would share their religion;
- 49% would share their sexual orientation;
- 49% would share their political affiliation;
- 42% would share their personal income;
- 36% would share their health information;
- 26% would share their mental health information;
- 24% would share their online browsing history;
- 15% would share their exact location via mobile phone;
- 15% would share the number of sexual partners they've had;
- 11% would share their social security number.

Overall, just 42% of consumers trust companies with their personal information. Recent data 'incidents' making the news headlines, along with the latest information-gathering technologies and opportunities, such as social networks, are making consumers skeptical and suspicious leading to decaying trust, says LoyaltyOne in its report.

A full copy of the survey results can be downloaded online.

Tags: consumer attitudes, data collection, data sharing

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