Millennials, willing to sacrifice privacy on the altar of personalization?

Millennials, or those born in 1982 and approximately the 20 years thereafter, are  a generation expected to change the world as we know it. Although they are quite hard to define at the moment, we know one thing for sure: millennials are the most connected of recent generations, mobile by definition, “preferring and expecting the world to be available to them on their mobile devices”, according to a study developed by CSG International.

However, being mobile-native comes at a certain cost. The study quoted above shows that millennials love having everything personalized and are likely to share data in exchange for such benefits.

Yes, you read correctly. In exchange for small recommendations, millennials from the US are apparently willing to relinquish their privacy. Of course, one can only wonder how representative the study performed by CSG International actually is, since it surveyed nearly 1,000 millennials, out of whom only a few over 200 were from the US, but come to think about it, this result does not seem too far-fetched.

Here are some personal details millennials appear to be willing to share:

  • Their location – 85% of American participants said that millennials would be very likely or somewhat likely to allow their mobile service provider to use their location services to provide small conveniences, such as a pop up prompt saying “I see you have a flight in 24 hours, would you like to check in for your flight now?”
  • The content that they enjoy – 86% of US respondents said that millennials would be very likely or somewhat likely to allow their mobile service provider to make entertainment recommendations based on content they’ve watched or listened to before.
  • Mobile data usage – 63% of US respondents said that millennials would be very likely or somewhat likely to allow their mobile service provider to use their mobile data to track websites visited and other usage data to provide insights to advertisers to create personalized ads, tailored to individual interests.
  •  Browsing history – 86% of US respondents said that millennials would be very likely or somewhat likely to allow their mobile service provider to make entertainment recommendations based on content they’ve watched or listened to before, according to the study.
Would you share #PersonalData to receive #personalization perks from your apps? Click to Tweet

The risks of oversharing personal data

When location data are collected and shared, they could be used in ways consumers did not agree upon, such as to track their travel patterns or to be targeted for unwanted marketing solicitations. Aside from this, such data can be very easily hacked, allowing others to peek into our lives and find out exactly when we are at home and when we aren’t, thus leaving room for potential robberies.

Even though it may appear a lot easier to share our data and receive personalized services in exchange, the fact that they leave us so exposed should not be ignored.

Instead of sharing our exact location to receive reminders or recommendations from various apps, it would probably be safer to look for going-out recommendation (as an example) by simply typing in the area where we are or street address, not let the app use our precise location.

Mobile data usage does not need to be disclosed to third-party apps either. One can very easily estimate monthly Internet consumption to ask for a personalized plan from their cell phone provider.

Also, similar content to the one we enjoy does not need to be deduced from our browsing history, we can very easily look up recommendations within our music/movie genres. Get more tips on how to stop your mobile phone from tracking you at this link.

Our recommendation to millennials is to keep their personal data personal by using a free VPN such as CyberGhost. This effortless privacy solution will enable them to surf the web privately, without offering governmental agencies, mobile phone operators or Internet service providers an exclusive and uncensored look into their private lives. Bonus: with the help of a VPN such as CyberGhost, they will have access to geo-restricted content from all over the world!

About the author

Corina Dobre
Corina Dobre

A professional wordsmith, Corina has improved her writing skills through extensive experiences in journalism, advertising and marketing. Curious by nature, she enjoys learning foreign languages and discovering everything, as well as everyone around her.

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