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Gauging Consumer Trust in Data Privacy — February 2020

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Data privacy is an important topic no matter what industry you’re in. It’s something that every brand needs to consider, as concern regarding online safety continues to grow. Governments and policies are starting to catch up, ensuring safer browsing and purchasing methods.

In line with DISQO’s commitment to protect people and the information they share, we are continuing to keep a pulse on consumer trust with respect to various types of industries that people share their information with every day. Over 27,000 responded to the recent study, which uncovers trust across sources as well as trust among age groups and genders.

Top Trusted Sites

Compared to January, trust has increased across the board for every site and institution. Financial institutions (3%) saw the smallest increase in confidence while online retailers (7%), social media platforms (9%), media companies (9%), and market research companies (9%) saw a much larger increase. Interestingly, trust in search engines increased the most (10%).

In regards to the most trusted source, financial institutions still rank at the top (73%), followed by online retail (60%), market research firms (58%), and media companies (51%) — now shifting to a majority of people who trust that they will protect and respect their personal information.

Response Variation

Overall, most responses varied only by a couple degrees, which implies that most people came to the same general consensus. Social media platforms and media companies, however, had larger variations in trust (3 degrees of variation for each), which points to more uncertainty among consumers when dealing with them.

When looking at response variation between genders, a similar trend from our previous edition of the survey emerged. Women are typically more trusting than men across all sources. Men tend to give more polarized responses — although less drastically as they did when we surveyed them last month. How can brands increase trust among those who are more skeptical? This is where brand messaging and targeting become even more essential to keep top of mind.

Trust Level by Age

While trust decreases with age, overall trust in each age bracket has increased since last month. The most notable difference is within the 65+ age group, which saw the largest increase (4.5%) in average trust.


Consumer trust is one that will make or break relationships with brands. In addition to transparent and frequent communication about data protection methods, it’s also important to assess customer trust levels over time. Tune in frequently, adjust both policies and messaging as needed, and push to improve your relationship over time.

About the Study

The Consumer Trust Survey is an ongoing survey which assesses trust in various sources to protect and respect personal information. This edition was conducted in February 2020 and reached 27,844 members of the DISQO Audience.

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