As Facebook, Google and other tech giants face scrutiny over data and privacy concerns, consumers are thinking more critically about how much of their personal data they’re willing to give companies and retailers access to—or at least how much they’re willing to share without getting anything in return.
More than half, or 51%, of consumers would be willing to let a company collect at least one piece of personal data, such as biometric information (fingerprint or face scan) or physical location, in exchange for some sort of service or benefit, according to The Center for Data Innovation in a survey of 3,221 U.S. adult internet users fielded Dec. 19-22, 2018.
Initially, 70% of the consumers surveyed said they would not allow a mobile app to collect their fingerprint or face scan, while just 14.6% said they would and the remaining percent said they neither agreed or disagreed with allowing a mobile app to collect their biometric data. But those numbers begin to change once benefits are presented. When offered an easier online sign-in process in exchange, the number of survey respondents who would not allow a mobile app to collect their biometric data goes down to 63%, and the number who would rises to 23.3%. Adding in account security against hackers, 34.4% of survey respondents said they would let a mobile app collect their biometric data while 50.4% would not and the remaining percent neither agreed or disagreed.
The responses show consumers are willing to share more personal identifying information as more benefits are offered. The same is true when consumers were asked about physical location data.
58.7% of respondents initially said they would not allow a mobile app to collect their location data, while 21.8% would. However, if the consumer gets discounts at nearby stores and restaurants if they share their location data, those numbers change again, but only slightly: 56.7% would not share that data, but 23.7% would share location data.
Store discounts are maybe not as enticing as account security for privacy-conscious consumers. However, receiving free traffic and navigational information encouraged more people to share their location data: 31.7% of respondents said they would, while 49.5% said they would not. The remaining percent in each of these instances neither agreed or disagreed to allow a mobile app to collect their location data.Favorite