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IBM-HARRIS SURVEY FINDS PRIVACY ACTIVE CONSUMERS IN EUROPE, U.S.

Source: "The IBM-Harris Multi-National Consumer Privacy Survey," Privacy & American Business, Vol. 7, No. 6, January 2000.

December 21, 1999

      Consumers in Germany, the United Kingdom and the U.S. are acting on concerns about their personal privacy. According to the 1999 IBM Consumer Privacy Survey conducted by Harris Interactive, substantial majorities of consumers — 94% in the United States, 78% in the UK and 72% in Germany — are concerned about possible misuse of their personal information. These consumers are responding with privacy-assertive behavior, actions that could have a negative effect on off-line and Internet businesses that do not adhere to sound privacy practices.

      Among the survey's key findings are that:

  1. 78% of American, 58% of British and 52% of German consumers say they have refused to give information to a business because they thought it was unnecessary or too personal;

  2. 58% of American, 29% of British and 23% of German consumers have asked a company to remove them from marketing lists;

  3. 53% of American, 54% of British and 32% of German consumers have asked a company not to sell or give their name to another company; and

  4. 54% of American, 32% of British and 35% of German consumers have decided not to purchase a business product or service because they were unsure how their personal information would be used.

      Internet users, the group that shows the highest positive response to personalized marketing, are more likely than other consumers to engage in these forms of privacy-assertive behavior. "If a customer leaves your Web site without making a purchase because of a concern for privacy, then your privacy policies and procedures are not where they should be," said J.C. Slemp III, Director of e-Business Security and Privacy at IBM Global Services. "If your company wants to win e-business, effective marketing and good privacy protection are two key elements in achieving success."

      The full text of the survey is currently available for download at: IBM-Harris Survey




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