Why No Brand Can Afford to Ignore the New ‘Privacy Actives’

Why No Brand Can Afford to Ignore the New ‘Privacy Actives’

Consumers are growing more vocal in their demand for privacy and a large cohort is taking action—so much so that Cisco has coined a new term: ‘Privacy actives’.

‘Privacy actives’ are highly motivated privacy-aware individuals. They care about privacy, are willing to act to protect theirs, and many have already done so. 

The 2019 Cisco Consumer Privacy Survey revealed this new demographic. Cisco first identified respondents who care about privacy (a massive 84 per cent of survey respondents). These people “care for their own data, they care about the data of other members of society, and they want more control over how their data is being used”. From there, Cisco discovered that, of this group, 80 per cent also said they are willing to act to protect their privacy: “They are willing to spend time or money to keep their data safe, they see data privacy as an important factor influencing their buying decisions, and they expect to pay more for products and services with better protection”. 

From that segment, Cisco found that nearly half (48 per cent) had already switched companies or providers based on a company’s data policies or data sharing practices. The result is 32 per cent or one-third of respondents care about data privacy, are willing to act, and have already acted to protect their privacy—voila, the “privacy actives”.

For brands, privacy actives should be on the radar for two reasons. First, privacy actives tend to be younger and do more shopping online, which Cisco says makes them a “surprisingly large” and “attractive demographic” for brands. Second, these individuals see respect for privacy as core to the brands with whom they want to do business. They favor brands that take conscious, positive steps to protect their customers’ privacy. 

Cisco says 90 per cent of privacy actives believe that how their data is treated indicates the way the brand will treat them as a customer and 91 per cent won’t buy from a company if they don’t trust how their data will be used. 

Already companies are feeling the effects of this new cohort’s approach to privacy, with the Cisco survey also showing 87 per cent of companies are experiencing sales delays caused by their customers’ privacy concerns. This aligns with other data from Pew Research

Cisco says: “People today are more concerned about privacy; they are asking more questions about what data is collected, how it is used, who has access to it, and how long it is retained. The fact that more consumers are willing to choose (or change) providers shows evidence consistent with this trend”.

Apple’s recent decision to require app developers to disclose the data they collect and what they do with it is more solid evidence of brands responding to consumer pressure for greater privacy and control over their personal data. 

We said in our Vision of privacy article that brands that get privacy right will build a competitive advantage. Cisco confirms this by reporting that 97 per cent of companies in their survey “recognized they were realizing benefits such as competitive advantage or investor appeal from their privacy investments. With a large number of consumers closely associating a company’s privacy practices with its brand, it makes sense that companies are realizing these business benefits well beyond any compliance requirements”. 

Cisco will continue to monitor the size, demographic composition, and behaviors of the privacy actives segment.

If you’d like to capitalize on the business benefits of the significant privacy actives segment, Anonyome Labs has two market-leading privacy solutions: 

Sudo Platform, the complete privacy toolkit for enterprises to rapidly integrate privacy into new and existing applications so they collect customers, not their personal data

MySudo, the world’s only all-in-one privacy solution, so users can talk, text, email, browse and pay with privacy all in one app.

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