Study: Millennials More Comfortable Sharing Personal Data For Targeted Ads & Relevant Offers

A recent survey conducted by the USC Annenberg Center for Digital Future and Bovitz Inc., revealed “Millennials” (those 18-35)  have a different attitude than Internet users 35 years and older when it comes to sharing their personal data online with businesses.

While 70 percent of Millennials agreed with the statement, “No one should ever be allowed to have access to my personal data,” 56 percent said they would share their location with a nearby company in return for a relevant coupon or promotional deal. Only 42 percent of users 35 years and older agreed they would share their location.

Study on millennial attitudes toward personal privacy“Millennials recognize that giving up some of their privacy online can provide benefits to them. This demonstrates a major shift in online behavior,” said Jeffrey I. Cole, the director of the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future.

According to the study results, Millennials are more receptive to targeted advertising when personal data is required. When asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement, “I’m okay with trading some of my personal information in exchange for more relevant advertising,” 25 percent of Millennials agreed compared to only 19 percent of users 35 years and older.

Study on millennial attitude toward personal privacy

The study found that Millennials are more active on social media with 48 percent of Millennials visiting social networking sites several times a day compared to only 20 percent of users age 35 and older. Millennials are also more likely to connect with people through their social networks, contacting an average of 18 people per day via social media, while people 35 years and older contact, on average, only five people per day on their social networks.

Study on millennial attitude toward privacy online

The Millennial study results were taken from The USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future’s annual survey based on a longitudinal survey of the views and behavior of users and non-users.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Facebook: Privacy | Google: Privacy | Internet Marketing Industry: Stats | Legal: Privacy | Microsoft: Privacy | Statistics: Online Behavior


About The Author: is Third Door Media's General Assignment Correspondent, and reports on the latest news and updates for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. From 2009 to 2012, she was an award-winning syndicated columnist for a number of daily newspapers from New York to Texas. With more than ten years of marketing management experience, she has contributed to a variety of traditional and online publications, including,, and Sales and Marketing Management Magazine. Read more of Amy's articles.

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  • Harry Hawk

    I have long predicted that there should be an explicit quid pro quo for the exchange of personal data, and I believe that reputable sites should go beyond a private statement and adopt a industry standard contact that will govern the use of that data. A contract that would fairly protect consumers.

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