In this age of digital advances most shared information is exposed to some kind of security threat. The growing number of data breach cases reported recently further illustrates this point. Despite this fact US millennials seem to easily trust businesses with the security of the personal information that they share with them.
Per the poll results released by Gallup on May 11, 2015 almost 44 percent of millennials in the US believe that the personal information they share with companies they do business with is kept private most of the time (or all the time). This survey was executed over the telephone by Gallup to 1,525 adults (aged 18 and above) in the US between February 23 and March 3, 2015. It is heartening to see some amount of trust being exhibited by a generation of young Americans.
Less Skeptical than Other Generations
The Gallup poll results further revealed that only 26 percent of millennials believe that their personal data is kept secret little or none of the time. This percentage is the least among all other generations such as baby boomers, Generation X, and traditionalists. It goes to show that millennials are perhaps the least skeptical people among these groups. They are the only generation that has such a huge gap between the rate of trust (44 percent) and rate of distrust (26 percent).
According to research conducted by the Mintel firm in 2014, around two-thirds of millennials were comfortable sharing their personal preferences with companies. This goes to show that they have accepted data sharing as a fact of life.
Could Age Be a Contributing Factor to Distrust?
The poll results clearly indicate that as the age group increased with different generations the trust of businesses maintaining the privacy of personal information reduced drastically. So the next best trust rate for private information was 32 percent as reported for Generation X, and the lowest trust rate was 29 percent for the oldest generation, the traditionalists. In fact, as per these numbers, the oldest generation is the only one that has a greater distrust rate (35 percent) than the trust rate (29 percent).
Being Positive Despite Recent Data Breaches
There is a school of thought that says millennials should have been the most skeptical generation regarding the privacy of personal information—especially with the huge number of data breaches that they’ve been exposed to in recent years. Despite such numbers indicating that their online data may not be secure enough millennials are hopeful that technology has advanced enough to keep their personal information secured from a long-term point of view. This optimism and trust shown by the young-adult generation is a positive sign of better privacy maintenance in the future.