RR Donnelley Survey Confirms that 70% of Consumers are Privacy Seekers

Press release from the issuing company

CHICAGO, August 20, 2003 - Consumers are increasingly concerned about privacy- that's a fact. Approximately 70 percent of 10,000 consumers surveyed through FinSightSM, the RR Donnelley financial services consumer panel, "think companies have too much personal information." A slightly higher percentage, 76.4 percent, "feel that their privacy has been compromised if a company uses their personal information to sell them products." Yet, consumers are more willing to give a company personal information if they get something, like a personalized product or service offer, in return. Panel respondents are evenly split when asked whether they "appreciate it when companies recommend new products and services based about what they know about me." The RR Donnelley panel identified key characteristics of consumers who are privacy seekers. In questions related to the willingness of a consumer to share personal information, these differences were highlighted: Consumers early in their financial life, ages 18-24, were far less likely to be concerned about privacy (65.2 percent); while consumers over 65, were far more likely to be concerned (84.4 percent). Women (71.1 percent) appear slightly more concerned about privacy than men (68.8 percent). Caucasians (70.2 percent) appear more concerned about privacy than any other ethnic group including African-Americans (66.3 percent), Hispanics (68.7 percent) and Asians (69.1 percent). Consumers react more favorably to giving their personal information to enable companies to recommend new products and services, indicating that although consumers crave privacy they also welcome relevant communications. The same demographic trends are reinforced with the youngest consumers over 25 percent more likely to provide their personal information, men more likely than women, and ethnic groups more likely than Caucasians to divulge their details. Understanding attitudes toward privacy can play a large role in financial services marketers' ability to communicate with their consumers. "Consumers are extremely sensitive about their privacy-particularly in the financial services sector," says Richard Hren, director of consumer data analytics for RR Donnelley. "However, consumers also recognize that a better and more relevant customer experience is available to them through some form of data sharing. The presentation of more personalized products and services that result from this insight seems to be a fair trade-off to many people." Data from RR Donnelley's FinSight Consumer Panel is based on responses from more than 10,000 people who participated in an online survey tabulated in early 2003. Respondents, representative of the U.S. population, and people solely or jointly responsible for the family's financial services decisions, answered more than 100 questions. The results demonstrate consumer behavior and attitudes around the purchase and use of financial services. The panel offers insights about several major consumer motivators including privacy, risk tolerance and loyalty; as well as a variety of product categories including credit cards, home loans, life insurance and investments.