January 30, 2006, 12:00 AM

Privacy worries don`t keep consumers out of online surveys and promotions

Although online consumers are significantly more concerned about sharing personal information, they adopt online promotions at rates almost identical to those of neutral or unconcerned consumers, according to Forrester Research.

 

Although online consumers are significantly more concerned about sharing personal information, they adopt online promotions at rates almost identical to those of neutral or unconcerned consumers, according to a recent report from Forrester Research.

In 2005, only 9% of consumers said they were comfortable revealing personal information for more relevant advertising, down from 18% in 2004, Forrester said. In addition, only 14% said they were comfortable disclosing purchasing plans for targeting purposes. That compares with 39% in 2004.

Forrester also found that although consumers say they want to be sure they’re dealing with secure and respectable parties over the Internet, only 41% said they always or almost always review the privacy policy on a web site where they are about to make a purchase or provide personal information. That compares with 36% of online consumers who said they reviewed web site privacy policies regularly in 2002.

And while 86% of consumers admitted to discomfort with disclosing information to marketers, they participated in online surveys and research for free products or coupons, and entered competitions or sweepstakes at rates nearly equal to consumers who aren’t as concerned, according to Forrester. 71% participate in a loyalty program, which feed purchase information to marketers.

For the report, “The Consumer Privacy Bluff: Consumer Concerns About Privacy,” Forrester surveyed 5,257 consumers in the U.S. and Canada.

 

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