Consumers less willing than ever to share personal data, even for customized experiences, survey finds

Americans are increasingly reluctant to give up their personal information to websites, even in return for an improved online experience, according to a new report from the Advertising Research Foundation.

Here are three takeaways from the second annual ARF Privacy Study, in which 1,100 American consumers were surveyed over the course of a week in March.

1. Compared to the 2018 study's results, consumers were slightly less likely overall to share personal information such as name, birth date, contact information and more.

2. Across both studies, the three pieces of information consumers were least willing to share were Social Security number, financial information and medical data. However, at the other end of the spectrum, 93 percent of respondents were willing to share their gender, 91 percent their race or ethnicity, and 85 percent their marital status.

3. Respondents' answers went largely unchanged when told the information would be used to craft an ad experience better tailored to their lives and needs. In fact, across most types of information, those surveyed were even less willing to share personal data in exchange for improved marketing.

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