$151. That’s the average amount it would take nearly half of U.S. citizens to voluntarily fork over their personal data to their favorite brand, according to a recent survey conducted by Germany-based digital marketing agency SYZYGY Group.
Consumers widely claim to value their online privacy, and have expressed trepidation regarding the prospect of third parties accessing that information — particularly in the wake of the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica data scandal — but our behaviors online routinely belie those protestations.
According to SYZYGY’s research, many consumers believe it’s worth giving up at least some online privacy in certain cases, and others said they’d be willing to part with that information if the price was right.
While more than half (53 percent) of U.S. residents said they believe brands and retailers already know too much about them, almost one in five (18 percent) said it’s worth giving up some online privacy in exchange for receiving more personalized online experiences.
The SYZYGY survey asked: If your favorite brand offered to pay you for any data Google and Facebook already have about you (promising not to share it), what's the minimum amount you'd accept?
Many U.S. consumers believe that much of their personal data is already freely available online anyway, and of the 45 percent who said they’d be willing to sell the data Google and Facebook already has on them to their favorite brand (on the condition those brands promised not to share it), the average minimum going price is €130 (approximately $151).
About 33 percent of U.S residents said they’d even allow Google to track and monitor their online use and activity across all their digital devices — as long as they were promised not to share that data — for an average of about $23 per month.
Only nine percent of U.S. consumers said they’d be willing to share their personal data with their favorite brands for free, and more than half (55 percent) said they wouldn’t sell their personal data for any price at all. More than a third (35 percent) said they’ve stopped using an online service or retailer within the past year because they didn’t trust how that company handles their data.
These privacy attitudes appear to vary somewhat across countries. The survey found that German citizens, in particular, seem to value their personal data more than their American or British counterparts.
Two out of three (67 percent) Germans said they wouldn’t sell their private data to any brand for any price, even to their favorite brand. Only 18 percent of Germans believe it’s fair that Google and Facebook collect and use their data for ad targeting, compared to more than a quarter of U.K. and U.S. residents (26 percent and 27 percent, respectively), and 56 percent of Germans said they think brands already know too much about them, with only one in six claiming it’s worth giving up anonymity for personalized brand experiences.
Finally, it would also take more money to convince the average German to part with their personal data: $163, compared to only about $150 in the U.S. and U.K.
By contrast, U.K. residents seemed the most eager to part with their data, with 48 percent claiming that they’d agree to the practice if the price was right. However, more than a third of U.K. residents (36 percent) said they’ve stopped using an online service or retailer because they didn’t trust that company, the highest number polled (compared to 35 percent in the U.S. and 25 percent in Germany).
SYZYGY’s report, “Digital Insight Survey 2018: The Price of Personal Data,” polled 3,000 adult Internet users living in the U.S., U.K. and Germany in late May. Respondents comprised a nationally-representative sample of users from the Google Surveys Publisher Network.