Pop icon, Cher, had a hit song called “If I Could Turn Back Time” in 1989. Unfortunately, we cannot. In fact, a new survey by the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future and Bovitz, Inc. shows significant differences in the way Millennials think, compared to older users of the Internet, when it comes to online privacy, access to personal data and how they share information with businesses online.
What they found was that despite misgivings about Trust by older segments of the U.S. population, there is what they’re calling a "Millennial Rift." It is characterized by significant differences in behavior and attitudes among Millennials (ages 18-34) compared to other users. "Online privacy is dead – Millennials understand that, while older users have not adapted," said Jeffrey I. Cole, director of the USC Annenberg Center for the Digital Future. "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."
The survey says!
The findings are good news to advertisers, and certainly are illuminating.
The survey found that compared to Internet users aged 35 and older, larger percentages of Millennials report:
In addition, it turns out that a large percentage of Millennials - and an even larger percentage of users age 35 and older - are uncomfortable with others having access to their personal data online or information about their web behavior. And, when asked about the statement, "No one should ever be allowed to have access to my personal data or Web behavior," 70 percent of Millennials agreed, compared with 77 percent of users 35 and older.
In spite of those views, however, significant percentages of Millennials compared to those aged 35 and older are willing to give up some of that privacy - if they benefit from it.
"Millennials think differently when it comes to online privacy," said Elaine B. Coleman, managing director of media and emerging technologies for Bovitz. "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,'" said Coleman. "For older users, sharing is a function of trust -- 'the more I trust, the more I am willing to share.'"
Other interesting findings from the annual survey showed that Millennials are…
At the risk of sounding like a grump over 35 (well over, to be precise), the declaration by the authors that online privacy is dead while making for a great headline is probably a bit of hyperbole. What the survey did not ask, for example, is “Would your attitudes about sharing change if you were a victim of identity theft?” It also did not inquire how Millennials would feel if their personal data were used by a company to make billions of dollars and they got nothing in return.
Plus, it is not clear what the barter rate is likely to be on calibrating the value of privacy versus loyalty.
It also might be dangerous to draw conclusions based on what U.S. feel and extrapolate them to the rest of the world. The approach to privacy in the U.S. is much less restrictive than the rest of the world, for a variety of political and cultural reasons.
As those who follow me know, I happen to share the Millennial desire to be compensated for providing people my personal information. However, my suspicion is I have a stronger view on what reasonable compensation would look like; a piece of every transaction where my information was given to a third party is my personal table stakes on this one.
I guess that makes me young at heart. Maybe this is not about turning back time, but about playing it forward.
Silver was the primary mineral mined in Nevada when it was admitted to the union in 1864, earning it the slogan of "The Silver State." Times changed, …
Big telecom mergers just don't fly these days, but it took Comcast 14 months and at least $237 million spent in 2014 to figure it out it couldn't buy …
The need to be connected to the 'smarter world' is ever increasing with the rise in the number of mobile devices. LTE is now a global reality for mill…
Get your next-gen stats here! Major League Baseball Advanced Media (MBLAM) this week launched "next-generation" stats league-wide that it hopes will c…
If you give your house key to your neighbor, he has the opportunity to snoop around through your vinyl album collection. That has lessons for enterpri…