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When Consumers Will (and Won't) Share Personal Data [Infographic]

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Consumers worldwide overwhelmingly say they will share personal information to get better service from their doctors, banks, and retailers, according to a recent report from Infosys.

However, they are very discerning about what they share, and they are sometimes skeptical about how institutions use their data.

Americans, Europeans, and Australians feel comfortable sharing data with doctors (90%), banks (76%), and retailers (70%)—with caveats. Consumers won’t readily share personal medical history with doctors, and they say they want targeted ads from retailers but they are wary of sharing the information to enable such targeting.

Below, key findings from the report, which was based on a poll of 5,000 digitally savvy consumers in five countries (Australia, France, Germany, the US, and the UK) about how they share personal data in the retail, banking, and healthcare sectors.

Data Mining

Consumers understand the benefits of sharing data but remain cautious of data mining—especially European consumers.

  • 39% globally describe data mining as invasive while also saying it is helpful (35%), convenient (32%), and time-saving (33%).
  • Consumers in the United States are less concerned about the invasive issue (30%) compared with the other countries surveyed.
  • German consumers are less willing to share personal data compared with those in the other countries surveyed.

Findings by Industry


  • Three-quarters of consumers worldwide say retailers currently miss the mark in targeting them with ads on mobile apps, and 72% do not feel that online promotions or emails they receive resonate with their personal interests and needs.
  • 78% of consumers agree that they would be more likely to purchase from a retailer again if the retailer provided offers targeted to their interests, wants, or needs, and 71% feel similarly if offered incentives based on location.
  • Though in principle shoppers say they want to receive ads or promotions targeted to their interests, just 16% say they would share social media profile information.


  • 82% of respondents expect their bank to mine personal data to protect against fraud.
  • 76% of consumers would consider changing banks if a competitor offered assurances that their data and money would be safer.
  • 63% of consumers want banks to communicate with them about their account or transaction information via alerts to their mobile devices; however, only 32% frequently share information on these devices.
  • 35% of consumers still feel that their current bank or financial institution does not have a clear process for addressing fraud-related issues.


  • 88% of consumers favor physicians' being armed with electronic health information about patients.
  • However, only 56% would share personal medical history with their doctor's office in order to get a more personalized experience.
  • 76% are interested in mobile apps for tracking their health.
  • Consumers prefer to share personal data with their doctor's office in person (98%), followed by online (77%) and mobile (66%).

For more findings from the study, check out the following infographic:

About the research: The report was based on a poll of 1,000 consumers in each of five countries (Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States) via an online survey, for a total global sample of 5,000 adults age 18-69.

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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Peter Nguyen Thu Aug 29, 2013 via web

    In the digital age and with proliferation of digital devices, our personal information are everywhere. Unfortunately, we cannot completely protect our personal information. Hackers and cyber criminals are finding innovative and creative ways to hack into corporate databases and people's computers to steal their private data and information.

    As this information shows,, our privacy is infringed upon every time we go online by various parties.

  • by Tamar Mon Sep 2, 2013 via web

    Interesting how customers demand a personalized experience even though they are not necessarily inclined to share their data, or find it intrusive. The fact that customers feel they could get a better personalized experience shows that although there is a lot of big data out there, there isn't always a clear method for how to use this data, or even to use it in real-time, which is the most effective use of the personalized experience.

  • by Gracious Store Wed Sep 4, 2013 via web

    The simply reason why consumers willingly share personal data with Physicians is because the Physicians need most of the information in diagnosing the medical condition of the patient and prescription of medication. Many consumers are unwilling to share their information with marketers, because they hate being tracked and bombarded with welcome and unwelcoming ads

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