Millennials More Comfortable Than Their Elders Sharing Personal Data Online

April 23, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Digital | Local & Directories / Small Biz | Privacy & Security | Promotions, Coupons & Co-op | Social Media | Youth & Gen X

USCBovitz-Millennials-and-Data-Sharing-Apr2013Millennials (18-34) are getting somewhat comfortable with the idea of personal data sharing, at least when it comes with tangible benefits, according to survey results from the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future and Bovitz Inc. 51% of Millennials responding to the survey agreed that they’re ok with sharing information with companies as long as they get something in return, compared to 40% of those aged 35 and older. That value-exchange is key: separately, 70% of Millennials (and 77% of the 35+ group) said that no-one should ever be allowed to have access to their personal data or web behavior.

More relevant advertising may not be the benefit that respondents are looking for in return for their personal data. Only one-quarter of Millennials said they’re ok with trading some of their personal information in exchange for more relevant advertising, although that was higher than the 19% of respondents 35 and older who shared that view.

Respondents are generally more willing to trade location info with companies in order to receive coupons or deals for nearby businesses: 56% of Millennials said they would do so, compared to 42% of the older crowd.

A recent survey by J.D. Power & Associates and NetBase similarly found that younger respondents were more comfortable than older groups with brands listening in on their online conversations.

Other Findings:

  • 48% of Millennials surveyed by USC and Bovitz said they visit social networking sites several times a day, compared to 20% of those aged 35 and up.
  • Millennials report regularly contacting an average of 18 people via social networking sites, versus 5 for the 35+ group.

About the Data: Data on social networking were developed from the Center’s annual survey ”“ the longest continuing study of its kind and the first based on a longitudinal survey of the views and behavior of users and non-users. The annual survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.7%.

Findings on Millennials and privacy were included in the center’s Topical Survey, a new supplement to the Center’s main project that covers issues such as privacy, social media usage, use of technology at school, stress and technology, and social norms regarding the presence of technology in social settings. The Topical Survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.

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