Press release

BritePool/Annenberg Privacy Index Reveals: Only 9% of Consumers Believe They Are in Control of Their Data Online

Sponsored by Businesswire

A survey of 1,500 Americans, jointly conducted by BritePool (
and USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations, revealed that only
nine percent of respondents strongly believe they are in control of the
personal data online
, reflecting a deep fear that consumers have
lost control of their personal information. The survey is the first of
its kind to integrate the desires of consumers and their online
experience with the real-world needs of publishers and brands. In
addition, BritePool and Annenberg are launching the BritePool/Annenberg
Index, which will track consumer concerns and beliefs over control of
their data online.

The survey also found that consumers know they being tracked, they block
ads when they can, they are unhappy that companies are profiting from
their data, they want control over how this data is being used and they
are open to incentives for sharing personal data. Most importantly,
consumers want a solution that allows them to participate safely on the
open Internet.

BritePool is the first consumer focused, vibrant, safe and secure solution
for the digital marketing ecosystem in an advertising supported open
internet. It was created with the goal of solving the twin challenges
currently facing the publishing and advertising industry: building
consumer trust and voluntary acceptance while establishing a persistent
digital last mile to the consumer in the form of a verifiable and
actionable identity.

“Our data underscores the emergent and real conflict that exists in the
minds of consumers as they engage in online activity,” says Fred Cook,
director of the USC Annenberg Center for Public Realtions. “We see
repeatedly that consumers want to engage with brands online, but they
want more control over the data they provide.”

Some of the highlights of the survey include:

Consumers Have a Deep Distrust Of The Online

Of the consumers surveyed, 85% are aware that they are being tracked
online, 41% would block every online ad if given a way to do so, and 74%
clear their browsing history. 79% are unhappy that companies are
profiting from their data and 82% are concerned about companies selling
data at all. Importantly, 76% of Americans would welcome new Federal
protections with privacy rules designed to protect them online.

Consumers See Value in their Data/Want Control

At the same time, 72% of consumers believe their data has real monetary
value while 73% want access to their personal data, and 71% want to know
how and why their personal data will be used. In fact, 61% want to be
able to access their personal profile and see how ads have been targeted
to them.

Consumers are interested in incentives for

The survey discovered that 64% support a policy compelling tech giants
like FaceBook to pay for data, 40% very much want to receive rewards for
programs they participate in as compensation for sharing data. Only 21%
of the survey respondents want to receive more personalized ads and
product recommendations.

“This research proves conclusively that the publishing industry and the
brands who rely on verifiable online identities are facing enormous
headwinds of consumer distrust and dissatisfaction,” says Bob Perkins,
COO of BritePool. “Consumers want knowledge, they want control and they
want incentives. This is the holy grail for publishers and advertisers
providing alternatives to the ‘walled garden’ online solutions today.”

“At the same time, consumers are both worried about the privacy of their
data and interested in getting paid for sharing it,” says Cook. “We are
seeing an emerging trend towards a new nano-ecomony, where everyone
online will be compensated for what they create, recommend and view.”

According to BritePool, the soon to be introduced CCPA legislation in
California, where consumers will be given a clear choice to opt-out and
restrict sharing their personal profiles, is going to fundamentally
challenge the viability of the current online business model for
thousands of publishers who rely on this data to know their customers
and participate in programmatic advertising.

“In fact, the survey revealed that 40% of consumers would enroll in a
free service, like BritePool, to protect their personal data,” says
Perkins. “This represents a huge opportunity and solution for everyone.”