US Insights

Americans See No Safety for Personal Information

Ross Tucker

Executive Editor Kantar US Insights

Social 10.16.2017 / 12:00

privacy online

Americans embrace technology, but increasingly feel their information is at risk.

U.S. consumers are growing increasingly concerned about how much of their personal data is being collected by brands and how their online activities are being monitored.

According to the the 2017 Connected Life study from Kantar TNS, 60% of U.S. consumers have concerns about the level of personal data brands collect, and 59% object to their online activities being monitored, even if they received convenience as a result.

Connected Life 17Personal Data

Kantar TNS surveyed more than 72,000 people across 56 countries for the study, including 3,037 respondents in the U.S. The findings paint a picture of a well-connected population that enjoys using new technolgies and social media platforms, but has little faith in the ability of companies to keep their personal data safe and secure. 

Connected Life 2017 explored consumer trust of brands and found that: 

  • 60% of U.S. consumers are concerned about the level of personal data brands have on them.
  • 59% of Americans object to connected devices monitoring their activities even it makes their lives easier.
  • 58% of Americans are not confident that the government uses the personal information they know about people to provide better government services.
  • Americans are slightly more trusting of smaller, local brands (37% trust smaller local brands vs 21% who trust global brands).
  • 53% of Americans don’t feel the information they see on social media is reliable.

“We are now living in a connected, post-truth world where the default for the majority of consumers is suspicion, not acceptance," said Liam Hickey, Vice President, Kantar TNS. "Most U.S. consumers feel on the losing end of an unfair advantage when it comes to giving up personal data in exchange for connectivity and want a greater say in decisions that impact them even if it means compromising on speed or ease."

“This poses a real challenge for brands: namely, how can they build and maintain trust in this rapidly changing world? In the U.S., the connection that brands have strived to create with consumers – whether reaching them through new technologies, sharing brand content, targeting them based on their personal data or widening the scope of ecommerce – appears to be eroding trust, not building it.  Companies must understand the right moments to engage with customers, respect their time as valuable and be more transparent about how and why they collect and use personal data. They need to be mindful of the value exchange: what are they giving back to their customers in return for their data.”

Source: Kantar TNS

Editor's Notes

To view the global study in full, please visit:

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