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GLOBAL – More than half of consumers (53%) worldwide agree that the exchange of personal information is essential to the proper functioning of modern society.

A new study launched by the Global Data & Marketing Alliance (GDMA), in partnership with Acxiom and the Data & Marketing Association (DMA), reveals that consumers are increasingly comfortable with sharing data, especially s there is an obvious benefit to doing so.

Trust in an organization remains the most important factor that motivates consumers to share personal information with a business. In the 16 countries studied in the Global Data Privacy: What Consumers Really Think report, 38% of consumers rank “trust in an organization” among the top three factors that make them happy to share data.

By 2022, nearly half (46%) of global consumers in 10 markets feel more comfortable with the notion of exchanging data with businesses – such agreement has increased from the 40% reported in the previous edition of the report, published in 2018. Additionally, 48% of consumers across the 10 countries felt that data exchange was essential to the functioning of modern society – up significantly from the 41% who said so in 2018.

Another interesting trend seen over the past four years is the rise of the “Data Not Affected” group; people who care little or nothing about the privacy of their data. Some 31% of the population in the 10 global markets now fall into this category, up from 26% in 2018. There is also a decline in “data fundamentalists”, those who do not wish to share personal information; 21% now say they belong to this cohort – 23% of people said so in 2018.

The majority of consumers (47%) surveyed remain ‘data pragmatists’, happy to exchange data with companies as long as there is a clear benefit to doing so.

“Given the diversity of cultures, economic development and digital maturity of these markets, this report is remarkable for the consistency of its findings across the 16 countries. [representing over half the world’s population]said Martin Nitsche, chairman of the GDMA and chairman of the DDV (German Data Marketing Association).

“Essentially, consumers understand the role that data must play in the exchange of data value. Trust remains the most decisive factor that drives consumers’ willingness to share data, so the guiding principle of valuing privacy must engender trust at the heart of customer communication.

“The results of this research confirm the importance of the GDMA Global Privacy Principles launched in 2021, which were designed to enable a consistent approach to data protection law and industry best practices across the world.”