How distrust drives us to hide our data

Nearly one in four shoppers regularly uses a guest account to buy online goods to avoid handing over personal data.

The data was obtained via a Censuswide survey of 4,000 online shoppers from the UK. It also revealed that nearly half of consumers much prefer to shop with brands they trust, 20 per cent are more willing to share personal information with brands they favour and 22 per cent are even willing to spend more for the brands and websites they trust.

Much of this mistrust resides in how companies are perceived to be using customer data, according to a new report from Empathy.co, the commerce search and discovery platform.

In fact, 40 per cent of respondents agreed that they don’t like being asked for unnecessary or sensitive data and 28 per cent admitted that they would like to take back information from brands they don’t like or trust if they could.

Similarly, 42 per cent of online shoppers revealed that they are careful when providing personal data and accepting legal notices, and 37 per cent would like more control of the data that businesses have on them, much of which is handed over without the consumer even realising and sometimes even without their consent.

When surveyed on their attitudes to how their data is being used, only 13 per cent of 4,000 respondents said that they are not concerned about how their data is used at all and will hand it over whenever necessary. Also, only one in 10 said that they like that businesses remember their tastes and preferences via the use of cookies.

Interestingly, when asked about their attitude to some notorious Big Tech companies, 18 per cent of respondents said that they think the purpose of Facebook is to spy on us and sell advertising. 12 per cent also said that they think Amazon consciously make cheap copies of top selling third party products.

Empathy CEO Angel Maldonado, said: “Data is of such importance in today’s climate that just promising to not misuse data is no longer enough, and brands need to show that they’re behaving ethically and that they are using customer data responsibly.

“Therefore, improving digital experiences and e-commerce platforms so that they are transparent and act with customer care in mind is imperative to improving brand power and showcasing trust.”

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