All Blog Posts
February 20, 2024

How Americans View Data Privacy

Most Americans are skeptical that those with access to their personal information will treat it responsibly.

How Americans View Data Privacy

Most Americans are skeptical that those with access to their personal information will treat it responsibly

Several recent studies shed light on how Americans view data privacy, signaling the importance of businesses and government taking note.

A study conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2023 surveyed 5,100 U.S. adults to better understand how people think about data privacy. The bottom line is that most Americans are concerned about how companies and the government use their information, with 67% of respondents saying they don't really understand what companies are doing with their personal data. Further, most respondents (73%) indicated that they don't believe they have control over what is being done with their data.

There is good reason that Consumers don't believe they have control of their personal data. Consider the fact that there were over 1,800 data breaches in the United States in 2022, impacting over 422M individuals. Another study around data privacy and ethics conducted using data from Publishers Clearing House (PCH) Consumer Insights revealed further insights into how Americans feel about data protection.

Despite the intricate and complex data privacy environment, the study found that 87% of Americans feel some sense of accountability for their own data, closely trailed by 64% who think that the companies they engage with should share in that responsibility. Although it's positive that individuals embrace personal data ownership, we recognize that the challenges in managing individual data are substantial, particularly for those lacking a robust understanding of data and digital concepts.

As far as day-to-day experiences with online privacy, people are overwhelmed with options and skeptical those options will make a difference. They sometimes fail to take steps to safeguard their data. A majority indicated they ignore privacy policies altogether, with 56% saying they click "agree" without actually reading their content.

All of these insights magnify the problem we’ve known for years exists - the current data ecosystem is broken and people haven’t been given the opportunity to actually own and manage their personal data. This lack of control and ownership over personal data has led to widespread data breaches, privacy violations, and the monetization of personal information without consent. It's clear that a new approach is needed to empower individuals to take control of their data and ensure that it is used ethically and responsibly. By giving people the tools and resources to manage their own data, we can create a more transparent and fair data ecosystem that prioritizes individual rights and privacy. This shift towards data ownership is essential for restoring trust in the digital economy and protecting the rights of individuals in an increasingly data-driven world.

But perhaps what should be most concerning to businesses is that 58% of survey respondents agreed with the statement “I am willing to stop interacting with companies who have a bad reputation around data.”

This statement reflects the fact that, while compliance with current regulations is important and necessary, it is not enough in today’s landscape. Embracing a privacy-first approach is truly the way to build trust and loyalty with customers, while also maintaining a competitive edge.

Fortunately, Concord makes it easy for companies to embrace data privacy, give control to their customers, and maintain compliance with current and future regulation. Reach out today to see how we can help.