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Consumer control 'key to sharing personal data for brands'

Consumer control 'key to sharing personal data for brands'

According to findings from the latest Direct Marketing Association (DMA)/fast.map Data Tracking Study, 41 per cent of consumers believe they are ultimately responsible for the security of their personal data, compared to 31 per cent of the 1,114 consumers polled for the study who believe the onus sits squarely on the shoulders of companies holding their data.

Findings also indicate that more personalised privacy statements which focus on the benefits of sharing personal details can reduce opt-out rates by up to 17 per cent. Trust remains the main factor when deciding whether to share information, with 75 per cent of people happy to share personal information for marketing purposes with a company they have an existing relationship with.

Less than one in ten are happy to share their data with companies where there is no relationship. The study’s findings also highlight that consumers are quick to withdraw their trust in a company, with more than half saying irrelevant targeting and over communication would lead them to opt out. One-third stated that bad press surrounding a data breach or loss would also cause them to believe a company can not be trusted with their data.

Chris Combemale, executive director, DMA, says: “As the results of the study show, consumers are willing to share their personal data, but only under circumstances where it suits them and when they are confident that it will not be misused.

“The good news for the marketing industry is that the tools necessary for building a reputation for good data security are well within their control. Having a robust data security system, clear privacy policy, giving the consumer control over how they are contacted and having an easy-to-use website with obvious security features are all components that together help to allay consumers’ fears about sharing their personal data with brands. If you’ve not got these in place already, it’s time to do things differently.”

Paul Seabrook, co-founder, fast.map, says: “As the fuel for many parts of the direct industry, the initial report highlighted that overall trust is a key driver in delivering quality data and facilitating a reciprocal relationship. This is very much still the case and reaffirms the impact that the data protection experience can have on the overall brand.”

Chris Sherlock, Director of Marketing Services at Equifax comments: “As a business built on the integrity of information security and data protection rights, Equifax has always been an advocate of best practice in the use of data for marketing purposes.

"We look forward to working with marketers to build on the learnings from this and future Data Tracking studies. This will help marketers improve targeting and reduce wastage, and most importantly protect their reputation by abiding to the rules on how data can be used.”

The biannual Data Tracking Study monitors people’s attitudes to personal information security and investigates the circumstances under which consumers may be willing to divulge data for marketing purposes.

AJR
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