Industry News

Consumers increasingly leery of companies capitalizing on their private data

Internet users are increasingly distrustful when it comes to big companies collecting and selling their private data to advertisers and others. At the same time, nearly half of customers feel disarmed, or powerless, with regards to these practices.

Consumers have every reason to be skeptical when a big company promises an item or service in exchange for personal data. Just last week, it was reported that Facebook users had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by thousands of employees at “the social network.” But the problem’s not just leaked passwords. More and more consumers are increasingly leery of big companies capitalizing on their private data for marketing or advertising, according to a study by Anagog.

Two in three consumers said they are willing to dump apps that collect information unrelated to the app’s function, unless, perhaps, they receive real value. 42 percent said they’d like marketers to offer deals on their mobile phones without collecting their personal data. And 29 percent said they believe companies should use advanced technologies to display relevant offers based on their profile while maintaining their anonymity, as opposed to sending their information to unknown external cloud servers.

36 percent of participants believe the practice of collecting personal data and selling it to marketers is a “global epidemic that needs a cure.” 19 percent said “It’s absolutely criminal to take my personal data” and three quarters of respondents admitted they couldn’t tell when and if apps are collecting their personal information. Perhaps more worryingly, 43 percent said they are enraged by the collection of personal data by big corporations but feel “powerless” to change the situation.

Asked if they’d pay a small fee, between $1 and $3, to have their data kept private, 54 percent of respondents said “yes.”

About the author


Filip is an experienced writer with over a decade of practice in the technology realm. He has covered a wide range of topics in such industries as gaming, software, hardware and cyber-security, and has worked in various B2B and B2C marketing roles. Filip currently serves as Information Security Analyst with Bitdefender.