Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Most Brits see data collection practices as dishonest

The majority of UK consumers consider data collection to be ‘immoral’, as the general population continues to grow increasingly conscious of how their personal information is used by businesses, according to research from creative technology agency Rehab.

The survey of over 2,000 UK consumers found that 70% of Brits believe data collection practices to be ‘immoral’, with 54% feeling they are now more conscious of how their personal information is being used by businesses compared to 2020. Interestingly, 48% of those surveyed were also unaware that businesses sell their personal data to other companies.

“Our report highlights some staggering concerns from the general public around data collection – which will become a colossal issue for businesses once cookies are phased out. Brands everywhere will need to actually build a relationship with their customers, rather than relying on digital stealth,” said Rob Bennett, CEO of Rehab. “To do this, they will need to provide customers with more value and more reasons to trust in their relationship. Getting it right means pulling technology and marketing together to manage a strategic shift, with absolute transparency on why personal data is collected and how it’s protected.”

The types of data that people are most uncomfortable with providing to business are online behaviour (61%), phone number (57%), home address (54%), political opinions (43%), and likes and dislikes (36%).

These findings will come as a concern to brands which, in many cases, will try to find ways to convince consumers to provide their data on a first-party basis, in the wake of the end of Google Chrome’s third-party cookies.

Moreover, highlighting the gulf between those who work in the digital world and the general public, 80% of people said they had no idea that any changes are due to take place with third-party cookies. Furthermore, worryingly for the over $700 billion advertising market, 53% of people claim to only buy products based on ads once a year or less.