The Pew Research Center recently conducted a study on how American Adults view privacy. Its results aren’t too surprising as the same study over 10 years ago revealed a very similar sentiment. What is interesting is people’s change in behavior over the last 10 years.
It’s hard to believe that 10 years ago social media was in its infancy and nowhere near the mainstream phenomenon it is today. People didn’t post their photos, send out status updates or tweets or have their resumes online like they do today. Despite the fact that consumers feel they have lost control of their privacy, they continue to share huge amounts of personal information on social media. Clearly, there’s a disconnect between what people say and what they do.
The more relevant facts to consider when understanding consumer attitudes towards privacy are their actions. A friend of mine has a start-up that tracks the location of the user in exchange for a $2 quarterly Amazon gift card. His user base is growing fast, indicating that for a mere $8 a year, many people are willing to share something as sensitive as their location (every day, all the time). At Whitepages, we believe in transparency and personal control of information. Consumers are willing to share their personal data if they receive a benefit they care about in exchange for that information and understand why the data is being collected. Transparency and benefits to consumers is the key principle guiding our consumer product decision-making. As we continue to launch new products and services in 2015, we look forward to further proving that point.