U.S. shoppers using the Internet consider privacy an “illusion” and worry about all the data held by online marketers, a new study finds.

Privacy is dead and ready to be buried, but life remains for web security, suggests survey findings released this week by Adroit Digital, an online marketing firm.

It finds that 73% of U.S. online consumers believe that privacy “in 2015 is an illusion,” according to the new report, “Privacy and Security in the Digital Age: How Consumers View the Collection and Use of their Personal Data Online.” And 75% of consumers “feel they are freely giving up some privacy rights by using the Internet.”

Adroit Digital bases its findings on an online survey of 2,000 U.S consumers conducted between July 29 and Aug. 25, 2014; the company says all respondents confirmed they owned smartphones and PCs.

The survey also finds that:

• 86% of respondents “feel that security is more important than privacy when completing online activities.” 


• 82% are “uncomfortable” with how much data about them resides in the hands of online advertisers.

• 58% “aren’t comfortable” with how much information they must give up to earn special offers from retailers.

• 86% read little or nothing of the web site privacy and security policies that consumers often are presented on web sites.

• 51% worry more about security and privacy on social networks than on other web venues, including e-commerce sites.


“Privacy and security continue to weigh on consumers’ minds, but we’re starting to see a shift in attitudes toward data collection and behavioral targeting,” says Glenn Humble, director of marketing and communications at Adroit Digital. “Today, most consumers understand that ‘big data’ is here to stay—and that brands will continue to use it to provide more relevant ads and experiences. We, as marketers, must reassure shoppers of how their data is being used to their benefit, while working diligently to protect and secure that information.”