UK Internet users 'losing trust' in companies

28 Jan 2014  |  Ellen Hammett 
UK Internet users 'losing trust' in companies

On Data Privacy Day, new reports from GlobalWebIndex and Ipsos Mori highlight increasing concerns over consumer privacy and how data is used.

The latest report from GlobalWebIndex, which asked 170,000 individuals representing 89% of the global internet population, reveals that 56% of the public are worried about the Internet eroding their personal privacy - a 6% rise over the last two years.

The report also shows the disparity of privacy concerns between countries, with just 17% of the Swedish Internet population expressing concern, compared with 68% in South Korea.

28% were found to be using Virtual Private Network (VPN) tools when online, which equates to approximately 120 million people worldwide.

Another report from Ipsos Mori hones in on privacy concerns in the UK, revealing that the number of British Internet users that trust companies with their personal information has dropped to 55% - an 8% decrease over the last two years.

The poll of 2,000 UK Internet users found that a huge 91% of consumers are less likely to click on online advertisements, while a similar figure (89%) said that they avoid companies that they believe do not protect their privacy.

Data Privacy Day occurs internationally each year on 28 January to raise awareness and promote data privacy education.

We asked TagMan's global product director, Ben Manning, what the research findings mean for advertisers - and what solutions the industry has in store for better targeting in an age of consumer cynicism and mistrust.

"There is a healthy scepticism among consumers about the use of their personal data by advertisers and other organisations that's been thrown into sharp relief since the PRISM and Snowden debacle that hit the headlines in 2013. Users now know that their data is of immense value to advertisers and media owners - transforming data into a form of digital currency in itself and users tend to better appreciate now that free content isn't necessarily free.

"The ability by marketers to link consumers using not just cookies but personal identifiers on their phones, laptops and tablets actually holds the keys to creating a much more joined up approach when it comes to online marketing, which is also fully reliant on users agreeing to privacy policies. The benefit to users is that advertisers can provide them with more relevant offers and even work predictively to prompt future purchases.

"In an ever-more mobile world the smart advertiser will leverage tied-together data to make this possible. Currently, about 30% of activity that we see coming through the TagMan platform originates from mobile devices, meaning that a new approach is needed to making marketing relevant to consumers wherever they are - be it on their phone on the Tube or at their desktop in the office. We're developing how cookie-less tracking can help connect the consumer's journey across various device channels, which for example, includes logging in when using mobile apps to track a particular user's account."

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