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Marketers underestimate users' privacy concerns - Survey

AppsFlyer and MMA Global release results of surveys around impact of Apple's upcoming privacy changes

There's plenty of concern about how Apple's upcoming privacy policy revisions will impact mobile marketing, but marketers may not fully understand the situation.

That's one of the takeaways from a recent report from AppsFlyer and marketing trade group MMA Global. The report, titled "Personal Data, Privacy & Smartphones: The Marketer/Consumer Disconnect," is based on two surveys of more than 150 mobile marketing professionals as well as a February survey of 1,500 consumers.

One of the primary discrepancies the report highlighted centered around how much online privacy concerns actually impact consumer behavior. While only 16% of marketers believed it greatly or extremely affected behavior, 44% of consumers said such concerns had that kind of impact on what they do.

The two groups also apparently have different ideas of just how many people will opt-in to tracking as Apple's new policy will require apps to ask for permission to track users across apps and websites.

When asked how likely they would be to allow tracking, 73% of consumers said it was somewhat unlikely or very unlikely that they would opt-in. But when marketers were asked how likely they believed it was that consumers would opt-in, 60% said it was somewhat or very unlikely.

"The fact that marketers consistently underestimate consumer concern and the factors that drive it calls for a re-evaluation of tactics and communication in respect to privacy," the report said. "Consumers want marketers to build trust and communicate openly and honestly."

The report also noted that marketers may be unprepared for the new rules to take effect. In March, 23% of marketing professionals said they were not very familiar or not familiar at all with Apple's announced privacy changes.

Overall, 42% of marketers thought the changes would have a negative impact on the industry, but only 20% thought it would be negative for their company.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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