Updated: May 18
The Top 17 Data Privacy Statistics You Need to Know
Here are 17 data privacy statistics that will give you a better idea of how companies collect and use personal data, how consumers feel about it, and where the problems are.
1. How Much of Your Traffic Is Being Tracked?
Nearly 82% of web traffic contains 3rd-part scripts from Google, according to a study by WhoTracks.Me. Within that 82%, almost half of the track online behavior and data.
2. Who Else Does This?
While Google is the biggest offender, companies like Microsoft and Twitter track data and Facebook tracks up to 15% of web traffic.
3. Why Is This Data Collected?
There are several reasons to collect data, but targeted advertising leads the list. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, 83% of Americans saw targeted ads from companies they knew had personal profiles on them.
4. What Are Some of the Reasons to Use This Data?
The same Pew Research Center study also found that 49% of Americans found it acceptable for the government to collect data to help catch criminals. Interestingly enough, only 1 in 4 found it acceptable to use audio recordings from smart speakers such as Alexa or Google Home to do the same.
5. Should Consumers Be Able to Control Their Personal Data?
93% said yes, according to another Pew Research Center study. So, while not unanimous, most feel they should be able to control their data.
6. How Long Should Data Be Stored?
50% of Americans said companies shouldn’t store any data. And while a few were fine with companies storing data for a few weeks, the overwhelming perception is that data shouldn’t be kept.
7. Do Privacy Laws Work?
Enacting privacy laws is only effective if they’re complied with. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, over 50% of the companies they spoke with identified privacy laws as the biggest obstacle in data usage. That suggests companies are taking it seriously.
8. Do Consumers Trust Privacy Laws?
Another obstacle with privacy laws is the trust consumers put in them. Fortunately, only six percent of users found these laws ineffective, according to a study by Aikami.
9. Do Consumers Trust Social Media Platforms with Personal Data?
With ongoing data issues with companies like Facebook, most don’t trust social media platforms with their data. In fact, only 47% of social media users felt confident the company could protect their data. Among those, only 1 in 10 was “very confident.”
10. What Data Do Consumers Trust Companies With?
The apparent personal information such as social security numbers, healthcare information, and private communications topped the list as sensitive pieces of information. However, less than half of people considered things like the media they like or purchasing habits as sensitive data and were more likely to share.
11. Do Consumers Benefit from These Ads?
Another study by Akamai research found if they had some control over what they saw, 84% would be fine with targeted ads.
12. So Do Targeted Ads Work?
In 2016, IHS Markit found that targeted ads had a CTR 5.3x higher than non-targeted ads. That rate was even higher at 10.8x when the person had previously clicked on similar ads.
13. Doesn’t This Benefit the Consumer?
Seeing that people click on relevant ads much more than traditional ads, it would seem that it’s a win-win. However, a study in the Journal of Consumer Research also found that an ad can change how consumers view themselves. The study found that they saw themselves as more sophisticated, outdoorsy, or environmentally conscious, depending on their ad. While those aren’t necessarily bad qualities, the ability to change internal perceptions can be detrimental if not used properly.
14. What About Data Breaches?
Data breaches are an ongoing concern with data privacy. While not common, they can cause a lot of damage when they do happen. According to the Gemalto breach level index, over 3.3 billion records were lost alone in the first half of 2018.
15. What About Government Requests for Data?
Companies aren’t the only ones who have access to consumer data. Governments can also access that data. In the second half of 2019 alone, Apple had 80,235 device requests from the U.S. government.
16. Why Do Governments Need This Data?
Ranging from fraud to stolen devices, governments can request device information for several reasons. They can use a consumer’s phone to track location or even gather personal information like banking logins. And since the government gains access 80-90% of the time they request it, privacy options are slim.
17. How Many Consumers Try to Avoid Data Collection?
For several reasons, 71% of consumers have adopted a solution like ad blockers to limit data collection. While these don’t always prevent data collection, it’s proof the general public cares enough about their online privacy to take additional steps.
Entirely hiding all of your personal information from companies and governments probably isn’t on the horizon anytime soon. Still, consumers now have more options than ever with the rise in data privacy legislation.
Consumers are reading privacy policies, denying consent, and filing DSARs more than ever. The desire for more online privacy has never been stronger, and with legislation like the EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA leading the way, consumers now have legal protection.
Collecting and managing consent needs to be a top priority for businesses going forward. Enforcement agencies are handing out hefty fines to those who breach consumer privacy rights.
That’s not the real killer in the mismanagement of personal information. The loss of brand trust and loyalty can create catastrophic events that aren’t as easy to bounce back from as a fine. Implementing a CMP (Consent Management Platform) can help you efficiently manage consent, provide DSARs when requested, and help keep your brand reputation intact. It’s the “must-have” Martech ad tech solution for privacy-focused businesses in 2022.
With Adzapier’s CMP, you have access to three powerful apps that help you manage cookie consent, consent preference, and DSAR management all within one easy-to-use platform. Try it for free for 30 days and show your consumers you’re a trustworthy brand that respects their privacy.