UK consumers: We’ll give brands our most private details…but don’t be naughty with it

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

Research from Webtrends published today claims that more than half of Britons are not concerned amount the about of data they share with brands, with a third admitting they’d give up their data if they were offered rewards to go with it.

58% overall said they didn’t mind brands getting their intimate data, with 18-24 year olds, not surprisingly, the most likely to share (68%). 64% of 25-34 year olds were okay with giving companies their info.

In what may seem like a depressing indictment of UK consumers, one in three said they could be persuaded to give up their personal data if they got a discount on clothes (36%), free delivery on products (31%), or a travel discount (28%).

The research also uncovered some interesting trends as to where consumers were most likely to share their information:

  • 64% of Britons are happy to share their name and email address with a retail brand, but this drops to 17% when further information, such as home address, is asked
  • It’s a similar correlation but lower figures with travel companies (49% and 10% respectively)
  • Only 5% of customers say they’d be happy giving all their data to a charity

According to John Fleming, Webtrends marketing director EMEA and APAC, this might be down to ‘legacy perceptions’ of brands – “for example, people may have had a bad experience with a charity using their information for persistent communications and telemarketing,” he said.

In a post-Snowden society, users are increasingly aware of what they give away and to whom. Yet this study also indicates that trustworthy brands are much more likely to consolidate their relationship with consumers. There’s a whole raft of data out there ranking which brand is best, from storytelling to social awareness.

As is often the way of these things, Webtrends is drip feeding more information from their study as and when, so watch this space in the coming weeks.

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