December 9, 2011, 11:45 AM

Many online consumers would trade privacy for discounts

52% would share their web activity in exchange for free or discounted content.

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Many consumers might relinquish some personal data in exchange for free or discounted content, a survey finds.

E-retailers and advertisers want to know more about online consumers, who typically are reluctant to share much data about their shopping behavior. But it appears that many could be tempted to give up some privacy in exchange for free or discounted online content, suggests a survey from accounting and consulting firm KPMG LLP.

52% of U.S consumers said they would be willing to let advertisers track their usage patterns and personal information if they received lower product costs or free online content, according to KPMG’s Consumers and Convergence V: The Converged Lifestyle survey. KPMG surveyed 9,600 consumers in 31 nations, including 300 in the United States. Additionally, 43% are willing to receive advertising messages without divulging data about their personal online behavior in exchange for lowers fees or service, they survey finds.

These results suggest ways for retailers and advertisers to acquire data that might otherwise be difficult to get. “Many companies are now looking for ways to collect more valuable consumer data from their digital business offerings,” says Paul Wissmann, KPMG national sector leader for media and telecommunications. “Companies can collect a wealth of consumer information, but they must collect data that is compelling while navigating the consumer privacy concerns. Otherwise, they risk consumer backlash from being exploited for their personal data.”


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