NEWS19 April 2013

Almost a third of consumers unaware of online monitoring

North America Privacy

US — Nearly a third of consumers are unaware that companies are listening to what they are talking about online, according to a survey from Netbase and JD Power & Associates.

Data showed that 32% of consumers had no idea that companies were listening to what they say, with 18-24 year-olds the most ignorant with 38.3% unaware.

However, consumers are happy for companies to listen in on them online but only when they are talking about the firm in question, with 56.3% of online users wanting companies to listen in.

Within age groups, the baby boomers ( 55+) were the least willing, with 40.7% happy for companies to listen in, compared with 36% that weren’t.

Those aged between 25 and 44 were the most happy, with 60.4% of those up to 34 and 63.7% of those aged up to 44, wanting companies to listen to what they say about a firm.

According to the survey, 60.3% of people want companies to respond to them when they mention a company by name.

However, how companies respond is important, with most consumers feeling that companies should only respond to online comments made directly to them through Facebook or Twitter message for example, or complaints in social media – averaging 64.6% and 58.8% respectively.

The survey concluded: “On the one hand, many consumers feel that they should be free to talk about brands without the company listening in. On the other hand, just as many know that companies are listening and expect them to respond to both compliments and complaints posted online.”

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