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The State of Consumer Privacy and Trust in 2017: Fear and Hope

Gigya is today announcing our 2017 State of Consumer Privacy and Trust survey, and the results show that digital marketers have reasons for both fear and hope.

Fear because two-thirds of the consumers we surveyed — 68 percent to be exact — are concerned about how brands use their personal data. A similar number (69 percent) worry about security and privacy risks inherent in the increasing adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as fitness trackers, smart watches and connected cars.

Consumers also don’t believe brands are paying attention, with 31 percent of respondents saying brand privacy policies are weaker now than they were 12 months ago.

If consumers don’t trust brands to respect their privacy and keep their data secure, then they won’t share much information. This, in turn, will cripple the ability of marketers to develop deeper relationships and meet consumer desires for personalized service.

Yet there is also reason for hope. The good news for brands is that consumers are ready and willing to take responsibility for their personal data. Some 63 percent of consumers feel personally accountable for protecting their data vs. relying on brands or governments.

The survey proves this important point through the example of Facebook. Since implementing a transparent approach to privacy about two years ago, Facebook has added 467 million new users, for a total of 1.86 billion users at the end of 2016. Gigya found that, of total respondents with Facebook accounts, 61 percent have taken control of their privacy settings on Facebook. Some 40 percent have changed their settings within the past year, 21 percent have changed them at some point more than 12 months ago, and an additional 23 percent are aware they can make changes to their privacy settings while relying on Facebook’s default settings – confirming that consumers will take charge of their privacy when given a chance.

For a deeper dive into the survey – which collected responses from 4,000 adults, half in the U.S. and half in the UK – get a free download of the full report, take a look at the accompanying infographic, and read our press release.

It’s not too late for brands to put consumers in control of their privacy and deploy platforms that help enable compliant personal data protection to overcome the personalization-privacy disconnect and deliver on the full promise of their online efforts.

By Jason Rose

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