NEWS25 March 2022

UK consumers less concerned about data privacy

Data analytics News Trends UK

UK Consumers are becoming less concerned about their data privacy, reveals new research by the UK Data & Marketing Association (DMA), Global Data & Marketing Alliance (GDMA) and customer intelligence specialist Acxiom.

Lock representing data privacy

The rise of the Data Unconcerned, people who show little or no concern about their data privacy, has doubled over the past 10 years. This increase has been an established trend in the UK since 2012 – with this segment growing steadily from 16% in 2012 to 25% in 2018, and up to 31% in 2022.

Data Fundamentalists, who are unwilling to provide personal information even in return for service enhancement, are on a notable decline – this group has reduced from 31% in 2012 to 23% in 2022. The report consistently highlights age as a key influencing factor in levels of confidence and comfort with interacting with the data ecosystem. For example, 40% of 65+ consumers are Data Fundamentalists, but this drops to just 9% of 25-34s, the same as for 18-24s.

Data Pragmatists, who are happy to exchange data with businesses so long as there is a clear benefit for doing so, continue to make up the largest proportion ( 46%). The proportion of UK consumers who claim to have high levels of concerns about their online privacy has fallen notably over the past decade. In 2022, 69% of UK consumers stated high levels of online privacy concerns, compared to 84% in 2012.

A decline in levels of concern with online privacy is being driven by relatively low levels of concern demonstrated among younger age groups, particularly the 18-24s. For example, in the UK, 77% of the 65+ cohort are concerned about online privacy, but this falls significantly to 54% among those aged 18-24.

DMA chief executive Chris Combemale said: “As the UK’s digital economy, alongside digital markets around the world, continue to advance and mature, there has been an increase in public ease and engagement with data sharing and the digital world. Younger people are digital natives – this is reflected in both their willingness to share data and acceptance of its importance to modern society.”

The UK-specific report is now in its fourth iteration and represents over a decade of tracking since it was first conceived in 2012.