Over 20% of Brits allow brands to collect personal information to ‘get something in return’, study finds


According to new research commissioned by a leading performance marketing agency in Europe, more than one fifth of Britons polled admit to allowing brands to collect their personal data in exchange for ‘getting something in return’ for sharing the information.

Whilst more than two fifths of respondents questioned admitted that they refused to allow brands to collect their personal data online, more than one fifth admitted that they will if given the choice to do so, and a similar number claimed they’ll share their data in exchange for something.

Research undertaken in spring 2017 on behalf of affilinet (www.affili.net/uk) polled a nationally representative sample of 2,043 British adults, as part of a wider study into online consumer behaviour, media consumption and shopping habits.

All participants were asked the question, “Why do you allow brands to collect your personal data online for marketing purposes?” to which the breakdown of answers emerged as follows:

  • “N/A, I do not allow brands to collect my personal data online” – 41.9%
  • “I get something in return” – 22.2%
  • “I’ve been given the power to choose either way” – 21.1%0
  • “I know my data is safe” – 15.1%
  • “I receive relevant adverts” – 11.9%
  • “I trust the 3rd party I am sharing data with” – 9.9%
  • “I like to share my data and help brands” – 8.1%
  • “Other reasons” – 1.4%

Of the participants in the study aged 16-24, just 25.4% admitted they don’t allow brands to collect their personal data online, compared to 29% of those aged 25-34, 39.7% of those aged 35-44, 43.1% of those aged 45-54 and 55% of those aged 55+.

Next, all respondents were asked the question “Why do you share your email address with brands online?” to which the breakdown of answers emerged as follows:

  • “I get discounts” – 33.3%
  • “I get tailored offers and discounts” –  32.8%
  • “N/A I do not share my email address with brands” – 32.3%
  • “I receive tailored product recommendations” – 16.3%
  • “I receive relevant adverts” – 15.6%
  • “I feel obliged to share it” – 9.0%
  • “Other reasons” – 2.3%

Peter Rowe, UK managing director of affilinet, said: “It’s clear from the findings of this study that online consumers are increasingly wising up to the fact that brands shouldn’t get something for nothing, and that in order to give them the privilege of having their personal data or email addresses, they need to have an incentive.

“The fact that more than a fifth of respondents also allow brands access to their personal data online if they’ve been given the choice of whether or not to submit it, also speaks volumes to us here at affilinet. It’s clear that two-way communication and mutual understanding is more and more important for brands looking to collect vital marketing information from customers.”