Brand trust is in decline as 75% of US and UK consumers are not comfortable buying from companies with poor data ethics

The survey underscores declining consumer trust in targeted advertising and the need for responsible data strategies.

75% of US and UK consumers are not comfortable purchasing from a brand with poor personal data ethics, reveals a Permutive survey conducted by The Harris Poll.

The consumer data of over 3,000 US and UK-based adults revealed that consumers are concerned about their data privacy and being tracked online, resulting in a demand for more  choice in the data they share with brands. 

It underscores a trend of decreasing consumer trust with targeted advertising. The study found that three-quarters of consumers (74%) are concerned about brands being able to view and track their online behaviour to target them with advertising. And despite regulatory interventions such as the General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act, only one in four (27%) consumers say they completely understand how their personal data is used by brands and companies to target them with advertising online.  

“A bigger shockwave than the demise of third-party cookies”

Joe Root, CEO and co-founder, Permutive said: “There needs to be a focus on sustainable solutions that are grounded in user consent for companies to protect their consumers and their revenue. 

“We’re faced with consumers opting out of advertising at increasing rates, which will create a bigger shockwave than the demise of third-party cookies. It’s imperative that we rebuild data in advertising to protect consumer privacy by empowering publishers, brands, and adtech partners to work together to use data responsibly.”

If given a choice, 42% of consumers would not share any personal data online with advertisers, and 51% would like to choose the types of personal data to share online with advertisers. When it comes to protecting that data, one in three (34%) consumers believe that brands are responsible for protecting their personal data online, even if they have actively or passively shared that data with the brand.

This could mean shrinking revenue for brands and media properties that don’t prioritise consumer privacy: 89% of consumers say they would be more likely to spend money with a brand that makes a commitment to protecting their personal data online over one that doesn't.