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Consumers Don’t Mind Giving Away Some Personal Data, if the Price Is Right

As privacy concerns continue to rise, you’d think consumers would be dubious about sharing their data. But according to a number of surveys on the topic, that’s not necessarily the case—especially if they get some value out of it.

More than half of US consumers surveyed in June 2019 by RIS News said they’d let a retailer digitally identify them in-store—through location-based technology—in exchange for special promotions and offers.

“Consumers appear more knowledgeable and skeptical about sharing location data, but they haven’t changed their behavior yet,” said Yory Wurmser, eMarketer principal analyst and author of our “Location Intelligence 2019” report.

“Many consumers are willing to share their location data with marketers in exchange for some type of value,” he said. “Others may want to reduce data sharing but don’t know how. Regardless, it’s likely that consumers will demand more control over their data in the future.”

In a poll of US internet users by Ipsos and World Economic Forum from November 2018, the largest share of respondents said they’d be comfortable sharing their personal data if brands were clear about what they planned to do with it. But nearly as many said they’d be happy to trade that information for compensation, such as a discount or reward.

Additionally, nearly two-thirds of internet users in the US and Western Europe said they would be interested in sharing their location data in exchange for discounts, according to an April 2018 study from Forrester Consulting and Loqate.

And for many consumers, a discount of just 10% makes for a worthwhile incentive.

Roughly seven in 10 internet users surveyed by Blis last year said that if Amazon offered them a discount, they would share their buying habits from a competitor, such as Target.

Nearly 60% said that a 10% to 30% discount would sway them, while another 41% would be influenced only by discounts of 40% or more.