Acumen Insights

It’s All in the Definition

Fast Company reviewed recent research on attitudes toward online privacy and found teens and young Millennials have a very different definition of privacy than prior generations. Older Americans’ definition centers on general principles about one’s relationship with the government or corporate America. Younger Americans define privacy in terms of what is available on social networks.

Danah Boyd, a professor at Harvard University, says teens closely scrutinize what they post online and curate their feeds based on the audience they want to reach; they want to make positive impressions on their peers and hide certain activities from parents and other authority figures.

The focus on self means younger people are less concerned with giving brands their data. USC’s Annenberg Center found Millennials are willing to give personal information to brands if they receive some sort of benefit in return. For instance, 56 percent of Millennials were willing to share their location with companies in order to receive coupons to nearby businesses, versus 42 percent of those 35 and older. And a quarter of millennials were willing to receive targeted ads, compared to less than a fifth of older users.

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