Study Shows U.S. Consumers Want Regulations Protecting Personal Data

9 in 10 Americans Think It Is Unethical for their Personal Information to be Shared Without Consent

Our personal data continues to be the main source of revenue for companies like Facebook and Google, but consumers have yet to leverage their data for profit. To dig deeper, Insights Network, a data exchange based on a variant of the EOS blockchain that allows consumers to take control of and monetize their data, commissioned a survey of 1,000 consumers in the United States and found respondents are eager to see major changes in the data sharing landscape.

An overwhelming 90 percent of respondents think it’s unethical for their personal data to be shared without their consent. Understandably, then, 65 percent are uncomfortable with their personal data being shared with for-profit businesses, and 68 percent are worried about the security of their personal data.

However, respondents are not entirely opposed to sharing their personal data, as long as there is more transparency throughout the process. In fact, 77 percent of respondents would be more comfortable sharing their data if they knew which company was requesting it, and 86 percent think they should be notified every time their personal data is shared.

“Under current practices, our data is being collected behind our backs for nefarious purposes and we need to move to conventions for data use that are based on transparency and consent,” said Brian Gallagher, CEO of Insights Network. “This is why we’re building Insights Network and offering a solution that provides users with secure storage and ownership of their personal data through a blockchain-based model for data exchange.”

In addition to increased transparency, respondents would like to be compensated when it comes to sharing their personal data. A large majority of respondents—79 percent—think they should be compensated every time their data is shared, and 72 percent would feel more comfortable sharing their data if they were offered an incentive in exchange.

Social media is perhaps the most easily recognizable example of large entities profiting from the sharing of users’ personal data. Around 60 percent of respondents have heard about the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook story. In light of the recent news about Facebook, 45 percent of respondents have considered deleting at least one of their social media accounts, and 12 percent ultimately deleted an account. Of those respondents who deleted an account, 78 percent chose to delete their Facebook profile.

On May 25, 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) goes into effect across the European Union, requiring companies to comply with consumer data protection rules or risk strict penalties. Since this is a European regulation, it was not surprising that 87 percent of respondents had not heard of the GDPR. However, when informed of its details, 84 percent of respondents supported the regulations.

SOURCE Insights Network

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