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In light of these events, a special study was conducted in the UK and the USA to evaluate how Internet users in the UK and the USA perceive their influence on the Internet and the current consumer sentiment regarding the current landscape of data privacy.
The study found that the past 12 months had a profound impact on their perceptions: 72% in these markets said they were more aware of how companies collect and use personal data than they did 12 months ago.
In order not only to maintain customer confidence, but also to remain competitive, companies need to take into account the new GDPR confidentiality rules and make changes to data collection that will be useful to everyone.
Trust is fundamental to effective competition
Most consumers in the UK and the USA (64%) believe that sharing personal data on the Internet can be beneficial to them, and almost 2 out of 3 recognize that sharing personal data on the Internet is a necessary part of the modern digital world.
What would encourage users to share their personal data with companies online, trust in the company (53%) and the ability to access and delete data (46%) were the most important factors for consumers in all demographic breaks. But since many still do not feel control over their data on the Internet, companies that do not respect personal information will soon lose confidence and will be different from those who do.
Companies around the world, mobilized by the GDPR, need to be frank with consumers and give them greater control over what data they exchange. Trust is at the heart of the online relationship between brand and consumer.
To build these relationships with consumers, trust has become an absolutely fundamental part of any brand offer - now it is not only the main product for companies, but also a central component in their ability to compete.
Data-driven confidence deficit mapping
When online retailers are asked to rate various online industries by their level of trust, they enjoy an extremely positive reputation among Internet users. 60% of consumers trust online retail services in the processing of their personal data. This is the only sector on our chart in which the highest consumer confidence rating exceeds all other ratings.
Music and video streaming services also enjoy a strong reputation among Internet users. And despite the apparent disappointment in the online advertising industry, which is reflected in the tendency to block ads and recent cases where tech companies scan email to determine advertising targeting, search engines and email services also have a good reputation.
Compared to other industries in our table, consumers are more likely to say that they do not trust social network services with access to their personal information, 1 to 3. However, 1 out of 3 trusts a social network service with their data, and the vast majority say they are undecided. Thus, although this industry can resist in order to regain its credibility and reputation, it seems that the opinions of consumers are mostly open to improvements.
Data as an asset and monetizing them
The past 12 months have clearly demonstrated the value of Internet companies for consumer data and their willingness to receive it. In light of this, consumers are now beginning to rethink the true value of their personal information and what it means for the idea of exchanging values between brands and themselves.
In particular, young and age groups tend to view their personal information as something more, which emphasizes sharing their data with companies on the Internet.
When the motives that entail any type of value exchange are isolated, data exchange in exchange for more personalized marketing is the least important. In fact, this is the least important motivation in our table as a whole for each age group.
Having seen the value of their personal data, some consumers turn to services that directly indicate the value of their data, exchanging them for services or even a monetary reward. Our data show that, mainly among younger age groups, there is an appetite for this form of exchange of values. For example, almost a third of users aged 16-34 say that they will share their data with a company on the Internet if this data can be exchanged for free access to content or services.
As many companies seek to be credible in the aftermath of the GDPR, consumers now have more options for negotiating their data, and many tend to take advantage of this. Brands should now think more creatively about how to encourage consumers to share their data.