Consumer Attitudes to Privacy: What Australians really think

15 May 2018

Consumer Attitudes to Privacy report from ADMA, GDMA and Acxiom Reveals state of relationship between Australians and Brands

Sydney 15 May 2018 - Australians are giving up their value personal data but not getting equal value in return in the ongoing battle of data exchange. Just 34% agree they get improved service in return for the personal data they give to companies.

The Consumer Attitudes to Privacy in Australia research, recently undertaken by the ADMA (Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising) and GDMA (Global Alliance of Data-Driven Marketing Associations), provides a unique insight into the viewpoints of consumers as well as their expectations with regard to the use of their personal data. Furthermore, it guides businesses and organisations on how they can increase consumer confidence and trust.

Key takeaways from the Australian Report include:

  • Awareness of data practice is growing among Australians. Many claim to be more aware of data privacy issues due to media stories and 60% agree that they are more aware of how their data is collected and used than in the past.
  • Trust and transparency are the most important factors for a healthy data-exchange landscape. 55% rate being able to trust an organisation as a top three reason that would make them happy with sharing personal information.
  • While consumers on the whole understand the necessity of data exchange in the modern world, they do not always feel they receive adequate benefits for doing so.  Just 34% agree they get improved service in return for the personal data they give to companies. 
  • Concern over data privacy is common in Australia but there are signs comfort towards data sharing is improving. 44% agree that they feel more comfortable about the issue of exchanging personal information with companies than in the past.
  • Australians see the idea of data as a personal asset that can be traded as an appealing concept and 77% would prefer to hold their own data and exchange it when they choose.
  • While most consumers feel they should take ultimate responsibility for their data, currently Australians do not feel a great sense of control over their data sharing and data exchanges with companies. 81% want to have more control.

“Our Consumer Attitudes to Privacy research shows clearly that organisations need to invest further in strategies to ensure trust, transparency and choice are front and centre, and those who deliver on these attributes will be the ones that succeed in the future,” said Steve Sinha, Acting CEO and COO of AADL. “As the go-to industry association for data leadership, education and guidance, we encourage Australian consumers and businesses to take ownership of what’s happening with the new currency that is data.”

Australians need to prepare for the European Union General Data Protection Regulation which comes into force on 25 May 2018. It regulates the processing of personal data and it affects companies worldwide who are doing business in the EU or with EU citizens. ADMA has partnered with the UK’s The Institute of Direct and Digital Marketing (IDM), to offer exclusively to Australians two courses to understand GDPR, an Award and a Professional Certificate. It is the only organisation to offer GDPR training for marketers. The courses are available at

ADMA has additional resources available on its website at as well as a full copy of the Consumer Attitudes to Data Privacy report. This research report is sponsored by Acxiom and has been released three times in the last 10 years. ADMA, in partnership with the Global Data-Driven Marketing Association, has also developed a global report which will launch later in May which includes 10 other countries. 

National Privacy Awareness Week 2018 runs 14-20 May under the theme ‘Value personal data – it’s worth protecting’. More information can be found here.

About the research methodology

In November 2017, Foresight Factory conducted, on behalf of ADMA, an online survey of 1,031 18+  respondents exploring public attitudes towards privacy in Australia. Unless referenced, all data included in this report is taken from this survey.

For this research, Foresight Factory set interlocking nationally representative quotas on age, gender and region. This ensured the sample was representative of the Australian population. Weighting was also applied to further ensure a nationally representative sample.

The analysis of the data and the segmentation of findings were conducted in-house by Foresight Factory’s quantitative analysis team.

About ADMA
The Association for Data-driven Marketing and Advertising (ADMA) is the principal industry body for data-driven marketing and advertising. ADMA is the ultimate authority and go-to resource for effective and creative data-driven marketing across all channels and platforms, providing insight, ideas and innovation for today's marketing industry. In 2017, ADMA became part of the Australia Alliance for Data Leadership (AADL), a network of associations with the common thread of data and the customer, representing the essential functions of data-driven business. AADL network associations include the Institute for Analytics Professionals Australia (IAPA), Data Governance Australia (DGA) and Digital + Technology Collective.

About Acxiom
We enable people-based marketing everywhere through a simple, open approach to connecting systems and data that drives seamless customer experience and higher ROI.  A leader in identity and ethical data use for more than 48 years, Acxiom helps thousands of clients and partners around the globe to work together to create a world where all marketing is relevant.

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