Survey: Younger People Aren’t So Worried About Data Access

Written on
Jan 25, 2012 
Brian LaRue  |

ADOTAS - By conventional wisdom, there’s something of  a paradox going on among younger people. The generation that never really knew an internet-free world, or at least plunged online before reaching adulthood, is supposed to be extremely web-savvy as a whole. But, in spite of what they know about how the web works, they also are supposed to be more inclined to play fast and loose with their data, oversharing their information left and right. And maybe both stereotypes, though they might seem to contradict each other, are true: According to a new Forrester study, compared to older generations, 18-to-24-year-olds don’t mind so much. Only 33 percent say they’re concerned about access to their behavioral data. (By contrast, 47 percent of 55-to-64-year-olds said they were worried about that kind of access.) And the younger group is more willing to exchange personal data in exchange for discounts.

Forrester conducted the survey by asking 37,000 online U.S. and Canadian adults, with the goal of answering the questions, ”Do people care if companies collect their data, and does it affect their decisions about the companies?” Forrester VP for idea development Josh Bernoff, in a post on Ad Age today, actually sees a trend toward greater public awareness about what happens to data online. CMS Wire has a detailed overview, and the full report is available at Forrester’s site.

What kinds of information are people worried about being accessed by the companies with which they share data? Good question, and there’s a chart with the answer (click to enlarge):


Adotas Senior Editor Brian LaRue has been working in journalism in some form or another for slightly longer than his entire adult life, having won his first SPJ (Society of Professional Journalists) Award while he was still in high school. Prior to joining Adotas, he served as a reporter, editor, columnist, critic and blogger, mostly for a number of daily and weekly newspapers scattered around his native Connecticut. In his off hours, Brian maintains an active parallel life as a musician and music blogger.

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