News Feature | July 16, 2014

Consumer Confidence In Privacy Online Is Decreasing

By Trisha Leon, contributing writer

Consumer Confidence In Privacy Online

The TRUSTe 2014 Consumer Confidence Privacy Report reveals that consumer trust is falling as technological advances bring along with them new privacy implications. The TRUSTe 2014 U.S. Consumer Confidence Privacy Report provides a comprehensive analysis of current consumer opinions about online privacy across the U.S. The study was conducted by Harris Interactive, on behalf of TRUSTe, with more than 2,000 U.S. Internet users, from December 11 to 13, 2013.      

The research found that consumer online privacy concerns remain high, with 92 percent of U.S. Internet users worrying about their privacy online, up from 89 percent in January 2013. Of those who expressed concerns over online privacy, the top two reasons for concern cited were: 58 percent were concerned about businesses sharing their personal information with other companies, and 47 percent were concerned about companies tracking their online behavior to target them with ads and content.

This falling level of trust has the potential to impact businesses negatively as the report shows that 83 percent of respondents are less likely to click on online advertisements, 80 percent avoid using apps that they don’t believe protect their privacy, and 74 percent are less likely to enable location tracking on their smartphones. On a positive note, in addition to these actions, 3 out of 4 consumers are more likely to look for privacy certifications and seals to address their privacy concerns.

Many companies have already responded to growing consumer concern and are improving their privacy practices, but the bar continues to rise. Along with this, the privacy landscape continues to get more complex in terms of regulation and technology. The report suggests some tips for businesses looking to improve their privacy policies and states that “companies need to innovate to succeed, but these findings show they also need to proactively address online privacy concerns to stay ahead of the competition, minimize risk and build online trust.”