Privacy Study Proves Gen Z, Millennials Are Just Like The Rest Of Us

NEWS

Written by:

Sean Hargrave

Staff Writer, MediaPost

 

The young are often seen as a different species, and marketing is partly responsible for this with its insistence on labelling those just entering the workforce as Gen Z and those well into the twenties and thirties as millennials.

However, the latest research featured in Netimperative from The Exchange Lab and Populus proves an important point around data privacy, although I’m not sure it’s the one they set out to show. Research papers usually want to show a massive difference between younger audiences and their parents. To me, the research just shows how similar we all are.

Everyone has been in those meetings where the “how will this play with millennials” conversation gets going as if they are such a neatly fenced-off demographic and within that fence there is always a consensus, and it’s always different from what Gen X believes. It may sometimes be true, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who finds it to be a little tiresome.

Is a 28-year-old cyclist a completely different consumer from a 40-year-old when it comes to buying cycling shorts or when two music lovers separated by twenty or thirty years buy a vinyl turntable? I’m pretty sure they are in the same market with similar criteria over their final choice of product.

Hence we arrive at research into millennial and Gen Z attitudes toward data privacy and the value exchanges of giving up their personal information.

In short, three in four don’t think GDPR goes far enough, yet three in four are happy for cookies to personalise content — and the same goes for two in three respondents when it comes to advertising.

So for some reason, GDPR doesn’t go far enough, but we’re still OK with cookies? In fact, the generations are so OK with cookies that only one in ten ever thinks about it before they just click “accept” for cookies when they visit a website.

In other words, millennials and Gen Z are no different from the rest of us. They have views on GDPR that may or may not have anything to do with what the law sets out to achieve but more about what they have read or heard from a pal down the bar. They are not loving being constantly bombarded, again, with cookie requests that very rarely give a choice but instead just ask someone to click “Got it” so they can continue to enjoy their selected content.

This concern over GDPR and annoyance at repeated cookie requests still doesn’t lead to anything, though. Nine in ten click on the “proceed” button in the middle of a cookie permission banner without even thinking twice. I’ll bet that’s a very similar proportion to older age groups.

The reason is almost certainly like older age groups they just want the internet to work. They get that cookies lead to tailored advertising but that’s not exactly the worst thing in the world. More importantly between eight in ten and nine in ten, depending on the platform in question, would rather accept their data is used for tailored advertising than pay for the service in the first place.

We all have an opinion on privacy. We all think more should be done. Right up to the point we can’t be bothered to reject cookies and realise we might have to pay for sites we use for free if we didn’t allow them to serve targetted ads.

In this, there is no difference between Gen Z, millennials and us Gen X dinosaurs.

Written by:

Sean Hargrave

Staff Writer, MediaPost

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