Consumers more anxious about data, but trust is central to building customer loyalty

Three-quarters of consumers willing to share data in return for a benefit

Millennials more anxious about data, privacy than Baby Boomers

Toronto, ON (Nov. 28, 2018) – A new KPMG study shows that while consumers are enthusiastically embracing new technology, they are more anxious than ever and more aware of the risks and benefits of handing over their data to businesses, including social media platforms.

However, they will gladly trade this information for more personalization, a better customer experience or a good deal, according to KPMG’s Global Consumer Insights program and the 2018 “Me, my life, my wallet” report based upon a survey of 25,000 global consumers.

The research shows that almost half (47 percent) of consumers feel more anxious than last year, as well as five years ago. Millennial consumers are more anxious (51%), compared to Baby Boomers (36%).

The majority of consumers are willing to provide businesses with data but half (51 percent) are anxious about identity theft, and the majority (72 percent) say they don’t trust anyone with their social media data.

Despite increasing anxiety and recent data scandals, three-quarters (75 percent) of consumers are still willing to provide businesses with their data, according to the study.

“Consumers are anxious, with younger generations feeling it the most,” said Julio J. Hernandez, principal, KPMG’s head of global Customer Advisory and U.S. Customer Advisory lead. “They like new technology, but are concerned about handing over personal data and what that could mean for their privacy and security. Our research demonstrates that organizations should be aware of the heightened awareness people have about the value of their data; they want to feel that they are in control at every stage of the business relationship.”

Anxiety and Trade-Offs over Data

Younger consumers say they are just as concerned about identify fraud; however, they are more likely to see the benefits of sharing data. Millennial consumers are more likely (21 percent) than their Baby Boomer counterparts (5 percent) to trade data for better customer experience and personalization. And 71 percent of those polled said they would trade their personal information for better personalization, security or bargains.

Four out of 10 U.S. consumers say engaging in social media presence is important among the brands they frequently purchase from and 58 percent say they will likely view those offering discounts or deals.

Customers, data privacy and transparency

Consumers trust some industries more than others and with different types of data. Ranked in order of trustworthiness:

Top three:

  1. Healthcare (60 percent)
  2. Banking (59 percent)
  3. Technology (54 percent)

Bottom three:

  1. Wealth management (37 percent)
  2. Government (37 percent)
  3. Advertising (26 percent)

“Businesses all too often view the exchange of data as a one-way street, expecting consumers to give away data with little benefit,” said Colleen Drummond, partner, KPMG in the U.S. and KPMG Innovation Lab lead. “However, as our reliance on technology grows, we’re becoming more and more aware of the data we create and are starting to see it as a valuable currency that businesses need to earn if they want to earn our cash. Those businesses that fail to shore up consumer trust in the way they hold, protect and use data will lose out in the long-run, and consumers will vote with their feet.”

Access the full report here (PDF). For more information, visit Me, my life, my wallet – second edition.


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KPMG is a global network of professional services firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We operate in 154 countries and territories and have 200,000 people working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. Some or all of the services described herein may not be permissible for KPMG audit clients, their affiliates or related entities. For more information, visit

Source: KPMG LLP