Is Privacy a Thing of the Past?

The vast majority of Americans surveyed in a recent poll believe that data privacy is a quaint thing of the past. A lot of them are OK with that, so long as there is some benefit to losing their privacy.

Consulting firm Accenture said that 80% of consumers aged 20-40 in the United States and the United Kingdom recently polled believe total privacy no longer exists in the digital age.

Thirty nine percent of the respondents even believe that their data is being sold by retailers and others, and yet a bigger percentage (49%) are OK with having their buying behavior tracked so long as they receive relevant offers as a result.

Consumers are even open to a blending of digital and “brick and mortar” marketing and merchandising: Accenture said that 64% of respondents would welcome text messages from a retailer alerting them to offers – received even while they were shopping in that retailer’s store.

It seems that most people are embracing both the convenience (special offers, immediate access to information and transactions), as well as the costs (loss of privacy, personal data being sold) of digital age retailing.

Privacy advocates might say, “be careful what you get yourself into.” Indeed, many consumers are unaware of the degree to which their personal data is being shared around, and sold.

Last year’s data breaches at U.S. retailers alerted many consumers to the risks of sharing their personal data too widely. While special offers and convenience are perhaps good “bargains” to make with payment systems, retailers and financial services firms – but only when the collected data is properly protected.


Copyright Today’s Credit Unions