The Data Nation survey shows that more people accept an organisation's use of data when they are provided with additional context or more detailed information about the benefits they could receive. And although the change in sentiment was not quite as strong when the survey asked about the private sector's use of data, even a one per cent increase in people who say they are happy for their data to be collected and analysed can translate into worthwhile returns for business.
The bottom line for businesses is that context matters: even when a limited amount of additional – but relevant – information is provided to consumers about what will happen with their data or the benefits of data collection, analysis and sharing, people are more likely to welcome such use.
Sentiment about targeted marketing is improving: more people are happier to receive tailored communications, adverts or offers for products and services compared to 2012, with the greatest increase amongst those in Generation Y.
Despite a slight increase in overall confidence in 2013, our survey shows that nearly three-quarters of the population are still not confident in the way that companies collect, use, handle and share data. And nearly half of people say they are unhappy about targeted marketing. This level of uncertainty and negative sentiment is not sustainable if businesses are to continue using data for commercial gain.
Data Nation has found that people who are confident that companies tell them how their personal data is used are between two and three times as likely as the average respondent to be also confident in other areas. For example, they are more confident that their data is kept secure, is used to offer better levels of service or relevant products, and is shared with third parties only with their knowledge and in an anonymised form.