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Consumers believe that data privacy is a human right

August 17, 2020 | By Rande Price, Research VP – DCN

As we know, data monetization is big business for many companies in the digital ecosystem. It’s an integral and lucrative part of programmatic sales’ third-party ad targeting capabilities. However, most of this data is collected, sold, and used without consumer consent.

Given the steady increase in the value of data and data collection, consumers are growing ever more concerned about their privacy. In fact, a new study from KMPG, finds that nearly all U.S. consumers (97%) report that data privacy is a concern. The majority of consumers (87%) view data privacy as a human right. And, unsurprisingly, consumers worry about what companies are doing with their data (54%).

Seeking governance

In light of new regulations in place, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the U.S., privacy is a critical focal point in digital media. Front and center are new data protection laws to guide the online data collection process.  

Consumers overwhelmingly align with the above legislation. More than 90% agree that the data privacy rights of the CCPA should extend to all Americans. Along these lines, four in five (84%) consumers say that they are open to state legislation giving consumers more control over their data.

Importantly, Americans want companies to be transparent in their data collection and usage. They seek regulations similar to GDPR. Nine in ten respondents (91%) agree they have the right to delete personal data and the right to know how their data is being used.

Paying closer attention to online data practices

While U.S. consumers are paying more attention to how brands use their data, they also need to take steps to secure their privacy. KMPG’s research shows that consumers engage in risky online behavior. Eight in ten consumers think it’s a risk to use the same password on multiple digital accounts (78%) or to use a credit card online while on public Wi-Fi (75). Yet, more than 40%, respectively, participate in both of these activities.

Covid 19’s impact on privacy practices

The Covid-19 pandemic also presents data privacy concerns. Three-quarters of Americans are thinking more about data privacy issues during Covid-19. However, a majority are willing to share their personal information to keep others safe and to return to work faster.

Strong willingness to share personal data to safeguards others against Covid-19:

  • 89% would allow places/employers to take their temperature.
  • 85% would share their COVID-19 diagnosis with their employer.
  • 67% would share their personal location data to help track COVID-19 cases.
  • 67% would share their lifestyle information as it contributes to COVID-19 exposure with their employer.

Ad tech companies collecting online data and advertisers using it must rethink the programmatic scenario. GDPR and CCPA are important industry reset buttons, even if forcibly, toward an ecosystem of transparency. It’s the right step to renewing consumers trust.

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