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Adroit Digital Study Reveals Consumer Data Privacy and Security Concerns as President Obama Talks Cybersecurity in State of the Union

70% believe the government isn’t protecting their online privacy; a majority are most concerned about privacy and security on social media

NEW YORK (January 21, 2015)Adroit Digital, which leverages the industry’s largest pool of shared shopper data to drive marketing results for global agencies and brands, has released the results of a new survey examining how consumers view the collection and use of their personal data online.

The report explored American consumers’ reactions to how their online information is tracked and used by organizations such as the government, Internet companies and digital advertisers and how these Internet users differentiate between data privacy and security. The findings also point to a desire for organizations to be transparent about the benefits of collecting and sharing this information. The report comes as President Obama unveiled a series of privacy initiatives for both government and private industry during his State of the Union address Tuesday.

The report, “Privacy and Security in the Digital Age: How Consumers View the Collection and Use of their Personal Data Online,” indicates that 69% of respondents feel privacy and security are separate issues, and 86% of respondents feel that security is more important than privacy when completing online activities.


Additional highlights from the study include: 

  • 73% believe privacy in 2015 is an illusion.
  • 75% of respondents feel they are freely giving up some privacy rights by using the Internet.
  • 82% are uncomfortable with the amount of information online advertisers have about them.
  • 58% aren’t comfortable with the amount of information they have to give to get special offers or services from retailers.
  • 86% read either no part or only part of website privacy and security policies before checking “Accept.” More than a third do not read any of the privacy and security policy.
  • 51% are most concerned about their privacy and security on social networks; 30% believe they’re most at risk on retail sites.

“Privacy and security continue to weigh on consumers’ minds, but we’re starting to see a shift in attitudes toward data collection and behavioral targeting,” said Glenn Humble, Director of Marketing and Communications at Adroit Digital. “Today, most consumers understand that ‘big data’ is here to stay – and that brands will continue to use it to provide more relevant ads and experiences. We, as marketers, must reassure shoppers of how their data is being used to their benefit, while working diligently to protect and secure that information.”

Download the full report and access Adroit Digital’s previous reports here.