Big Tech refers to the companies within the information technology industry that can shape the future of various aspects of consumer behaviour and identity. This encompasses influences on privacy, censorship, law enforcement, and even market power.
The “Big Four” of Big Tech refer to the companies Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, as they have influenced changes in society through their dominant role when it comes to the virtual realm.
In terms of consumer behaviours toward Big Tech, they can vary by intent and willingness to disclose personal information. A poll conducted by CodeFuel found that 84% of American adults were willing to share personal health data in order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Meanwhile, 58% of the respondents said they would give out their location data for the cause. In addition, 36% of people accepted the disclosure of social media data, while 31% said they would provide their search history.
The intent of these individuals was clear: to mitigate the spread of the pandemic. However, there are intentions aside from health as well. According to a study by the PwC, 40% of worldwide internet users said they were willing to share financial data for the purpose of saving money.
The willingness to give out location data in this particular survey pertained to 39% for the sake of increased safety, while browsing history was at 31% in exchange for speed and efficiency. Sharing information also came in other forms, including biometric data in order to save money, as well as voicemail history for the benefit of increasing personalization.
Giving out data requires placing trust in companies to use the information for its initially intended purposes. At times, there is consumer backlash and heightened scrutiny against the use of data. This was especially the case following the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data breach in 2018.
In the aftermath of the break in consumer and public trust, Big Tech companies have undertaken efforts to make changes to products and services, as well as educating users about privacy policies.
On the consumer’s side of the situation, there is also a difference between the willingness to share information and the level of comfort. A survey conducted by Morning Consult found that only 14% of American adults said they were very comfortable about sharing location data with technology companies in order to track the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, 34% of respondents stated they were very uncomfortable with providing data. It should also be noted that while 21% were somewhat comfortable, 23 were somewhat uncomfortable. Furthermore, 8% of those surveyed either did not know or had no opinion about the matter.
As Big Tech continues to influence consumer attitudes towards sharing information and vice-versa, it is essential for businesses to understand the fine line between the willingness to share data and the comfort levels of target audiences.
With thorough market research, as well as an in-depth understanding of the current social climate both online and offline, the Find Your Audience team is able to provide clients with customized business strategies. To contact the team and discover, develop, and deploy solutions that work, call 647-479-0688. Find Your Audience may also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.