From weddings to birthdays, childbirths to vacations, it is now human nature to share personal information about basically everything.
With all of those personal details comes the inevitable loss of privacy. Yes, millennials are concerned, but they’re not losing sleep over it. According to a new privacy report by Flamingo and Contagious magazine, millennials understand that the more they contribute via the Internet, the less control they have. They realize that before digital technology and the Internet, secrets were kept for the diary. Now everything is stored on a smartphone or other digital device, and the idea of privacy is becoming less of a reality and more of a fantasy.
Millennials recognize that it’s impossible to be wary about every single online action. It’s just not an option. They know the Internet was designed as a tool for sharing and openness and the need for gathering data. Heck, they grew up with it, so, unlike Gen Xers and baby boomers, they don’t really know any differently. In fact, millennials expect invasions and understand the risk of sharing sensitive information – where a loss of privacy means the conveniences they enjoy are not really free after all.
According to the study, in today’s world, millennials consider a definitive “breach” to be something like leaking personal information in which there is no benefit to them. For example, a company using personal information without consent (much like a friend sharing a secret with someone) is a huge no-no. However, Gen Yers have come to realize that once they put something out there, a sense of “shared ownership” comes with the information.
Overall, millennials think that the government should play a bigger role in regulating companies as far as preventing malicious breaches in privacy. The government should know more to protect them, ensure security and prevent terrorism. Basically, millennials want companies to maintain their end of the deal. That’s when they are more willing to offer their trust in return.
The verdict: Millennials mostly want reciprocity, not just transparency. They want to know just as much about you as you do about them. The real worry for them is simply not knowing the intent behind gathering data and how it’s being used. For brands: Be transparent and let millennials know why you’re collecting their data and tracking their every move. More importantly, let them know what you intend to do with the data. Explain why you share information with third parties. They understand.
At this point, complete privacy is unattainable. In order to take part in modern life, you must be willing to participate in an open exchange of information. The only other option is isolation and, frankly, this generation isn’t interested in that at all. They’re a social bunch. Can’t you tell?
Alyse Lorber – Global Marketing Assistant, gyro
Alyse Lorber is the global marketing assistant at gyro. Prior to joining gyro, she spent nearly a year at Time Inc. working at PEOPLE magazine. At gyro, she helps lead the agency’s PR efforts, uniting a network of thirteen offices around the globe. Alyse has written extensively on marketing to Millennials and enjoys covering topics ranging from popular culture to advertising and everything Gen Y. She graduated with honors from Ohio University with a degree in journalism and public relations.
Follow her at @alyse_michelle