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‘Online Privacy is Dead’ Says Study and Millennials Are Okay with That




annenberg studyEvery time we talk about a new social media network or online marketing move, privacy is an issue. But according to a new survey conducted by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future and Bovitz Inc., it’s going to be less of a concern in the near future. Why? Not because we’re working on ways to make the internet more secure, but because Millennials aren’t as concerned as their elders.

When faced with the statement, “No one should ever be allowed to have access to my personal data or web behavior,” 70% of Millennials (18-34) agreed, compared with 77% of users 35 and older.

70% is still a lot of objectors but that 7% shows a shift in thinking that is likely to continue as the Millennials rise up and take over the world (those that haven’t already.)

If you want a Millennial to give you their contact information, simply offer them something in return such as a coupon or deal. (51% vs 40%) Specially, 56% were willing to share their location if they received a coupon for a local business.

This give and take also applies to targeted adverting. 25% of Millenials were willing to trade personal information in exchange for more relevant ads. Only 19% of those over 35 agreed.

Elaine B. Coleman, managing director of media and emerging technologies for Bovitz says,

“Millennials think differently when it comes to online privacy. It’s not that they don’t care about it — rather they perceive social media as an exchange or an economy of ideas, where sharing involves participating in smart ways. Millennials say, ‘I’ll give up some personal information if I get something in return.  For older users, sharing is a function of trust — ‘the more I trust, the more I am willing to share.'”

And Millennials have plenty of oppourtunities to share through social media. Almost half said they visit a social network several times a day. Only 20% of those over 35 make that claim. They also have regular contact with more people through social media — an average of 18 for those under 35 compared to only 5 for users over.

Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future says,

“Online privacy is dead — Millennials understand that, while older users have not adapted. Millennials recognize that giving up some of their privacy online can provide benefits to them. This demonstrates a major shift in online behavior — there’s no going back.”

How far will it go? Will we ever reach a stage where the majority of online netizens aren’t concerned about privacy? And if that happens, will companies stop jumping through hoops to protect them?

  • Privacy Genius

    Millennials will become “grown” and will change their view. How many young people are concerned about retirement? But then they hit a certain age and then it matters. Privacy will be the same.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jake.finn.549436 Jake Finn

    tsk tsk tsk…thanks for sharing this “alarming” info. Don’t they know the importance of privacy? Sure, we utilized social media (me especially as a marketer of Colibri Tool) but this surely is one of its so-called ugly side

  • Not Ur SlamPiece

    I gives a crap about “privacy.”

    What is this privacy of? Privacy of…. come on…. what?

    Who cares if someone targets an ad to you? Who cares if some computer knows your address? Who cares?

    I have pictures of myself on facebook hitting a bong on spring break. I snapchat dirty. I hook up on tinder for god sakes.

    Who cares about “privacy?” 1/2 the guys I know probably have pics of my vag on their phone. Seriously. . . This Is College.