US Consumers Believe Their Data is Worth $244 Per Year

Dec 07, 2017

LoopMe conducted cross-Atlantic research with Censuswide to look at US and UK consumers views on their data, ahead of the GDPR implementation in May 2018. US consumers believe that their data is worth $244 per year. Despite a high price tag, many consumers feel uninformed about their data – 31% of US respondents and 51% of their UK counterparts did not feel informed enough to give a value on their data.

Interestingly, 62% of consumers in both the US and the UK are unaware that all / any data gathered is encrypted and non-PII identifiable. Just 18% globally understood what data was being gathered for advertising purposes.

Despite widespread misunderstanding about what their data comprised of, 60% of consumers surveyed would prefer for ads and online experiences to be more relevant to their needs. 48% surveyed were happy for advertisers to use their anonymous data if it kept online sites free and that it wasn’t linked back to the consumer. In fact, 58% felt that brands should be using anonymous data to show you more relevant and interesting ads.

The lack of understanding shows just how far the advertising industry needs to go in terms of consumer education, before new legislation comes into force next year. In May 2018, GDPR comes into effect, which means that marketers will face much stricter regulations around consumer data which goes beyond non-PII information.

Consumers concerns are broadly similar, with their biggest concerns with their data that it is stored unsafely and vulnerable to hacks (47%), that it will be sold without their permission (43%) and that it will be used by criminal organizations (29%). 

Advertising Application 

Consumers need to be educated about the ways in which data can benefit them as 38.9% of consumers felt that they weren’t knowledgeable enough to comment on the benefits. However, savings on cost (24%), more relevant product offers (22%) and broader worldwide initiatives (14.9%) all topped their perceptions.

With GDPR around the corner, marketers should be transparent about the data they are gathering about consumers. 71% felt that their personal information was being gathered by advertisers and ad companies, while demographic (63%) and location (56%) came in second and third place, suggesting misinformation around data collection.

Generational differences

Research shows that those aged 25-34 were most happy to have ads and online experiences be more relevant to their needs (65%) compared to the generations above them, with those aged 45-54 (35%) and 55+ (36%) less likely to see the benefit. 

Generally, the research found that the older the respondent, the more value they put on their data. Those in the US aged 16-24 valued their data at $208.46 while those aged 45-54 valued it at $280.93 per year. For those in the UK, those aged 16-24 gave an average value of £227.91 per year, while those aged 45-54 put the figure at £270.05 and 55+ put it at £287.33.