Internet
users are increasingly distrustful when it comes to big companies collecting
and selling their private data to advertisers and others. At the same time,
nearly half of customers feel disarmed, or powerless, with regards to these
practices.

Consumers have every reason to be skeptical when a big company promises an item or service in exchange for personal data. Just last week, it was reported that Facebook users had their account passwords stored in plain text and searchable by thousands of employees at “the social network.” But the problem’s not just leaked passwords. More and more consumers are increasingly leery of big companies capitalizing on their private data for marketing or advertising, according to a study by Anagog.

Two
in three consumers said they are willing to dump apps that collect information
unrelated to the app’s function, unless, perhaps, they receive real value. 42
percent said they’d like marketers to offer deals on their mobile phones
without collecting their personal data. And 29 percent said they believe
companies should use advanced technologies to display relevant offers based on
their profile while maintaining their anonymity, as opposed to sending their
information to unknown external cloud servers.

36
percent of participants believe the practice of collecting personal data and
selling it to marketers is a “global epidemic that needs a cure.” 19 percent
said “It’s absolutely criminal to take my personal data” and three quarters of respondents
admitted they couldn’t tell when and if apps are collecting their personal
information. Perhaps more worryingly, 43 percent said they are enraged by the
collection of personal data by big corporations but feel “powerless” to change the
situation.

Asked
if they’d pay a small fee, between $1 and $3, to have their data kept private,
54 percent of respondents said “yes.”