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NAI Consumer Survey on Privacy and Digital Advertising

The NAI recently conducted a survey among 10,000 consumers to find out more about what they think about digital advertising, online content, and privacy. 

The survey results feature three key findings:

  1. Consumers have significant online privacy concerns that are primarily driven by bad actors, such as hackers. 
  2. Consumers strongly favor ad-supported media and online services over those that require payment.
  3. American consumers are overwhelmingly looking to Congress and the Federal Government to address privacy concerns.

Consumers have significant online privacy concerns that are primarily driven by bad actors, such as hackers. 

The vast majority of survey respondents indicated having at least some concern about their privacy online. More than half, 56.2%, cited hackers as the main source of concern. Other top sources of privacy concerns varied, with significantly smaller percentages citing a range of different concerns, including 12% citing data collection by websites or apps, 11% for ad tech companies, 10% citing the U.S. Government, and 8% citing foreign governments. Overall, hackers and government surveillance outweighed concerns about industry data collection by almost 3:1.

Consumers strongly favor ad-supported media and online services over those that require payment.

The study revealed that consumers place a high value on their online content and services. However, respondents to this survey are disinclined to pay more for their online content than they are already paying. The survey revealed that nearly 60% of respondents prefer their online content to be paid for by advertising, while another question sought feedback from consumers on how much they currently pay for online content and how much they would be willing to pay. Nearly 90% said they are unwilling to pay a significant amount of money to continue receiving apps and online content that they currently receive for free. The survey provided a strong affirmation that the ad-supported content model is ideal for most consumers.

American consumers are overwhelmingly looking to Congress and the Federal Government to address privacy concerns.

With respect to providing privacy protections for consumers, respondents to this survey indicated they want the Federal Government and Congress to address privacy concerns. A substantial majority, 67% of respondents, believe that the federal government should be responsible for enacting laws to protect the data privacy of American citizens. Clearly, U.S. consumers believe that data protection should be offered to consumers regardless of where they live. These results align with NAI’s public policy efforts to advance a national privacy framework that establishes a uniform standard for consumer privacy in the U.S.

The full analysis paper can be found here.