Data Privacy Concerns Spark Growth in Social Login

Brands that promise to protect information and enhance personalization will gain customer data via increased social login and next-generation authentication adoption.
Customer Experience

Over the years, privacy and personalization have become ever more crucial to the success of most brands' customer strategy initiatives. Consumers wish to protect sensitive information and develop tailored brand experiences simultaneously. Yet, while these two elements may seem inherently at odds, companies that safeguard data and boost relevance will find customers are much more eager to share information if there's some perceived value for them.

Gigya's recent "The 2015 State of Consumer Privacy & Personalization" report explores the prevalence of social login, consumer attitudes regarding data privacy, and the importance of personalization. Conducted in partnership with OnePoll, researchers surveyed 2,000 U.S. and 2,000 U.K. consumers to gauge how this growing desire for increased data privacy and personalized user experiences has impacted how individuals interact with their favorite brands.

Overall, 96 percent of U.S. and 91 percent of U.K. consumers admit to being somewhat or very concerned about privacy and how companies are using customer data. However, most social logins are driven by an aversion to completing lengthy registration forms that require users to create new usernames and passwords. Therefore, as companies work to establish trust and transparency, next-generation authentication methods may help to deepen customer-company relationships.

The following statistics demonstrate the emerging popularity of social login in relation to heightened data security concerns, as well as the impact personalization has on brand loyalty:

  • Eighty-eight percent of U.S. consumers claim they've logged into a website or mobile application using an existing digital identity from a social network, such as Facebook or Twitter, representing an 11 percent increase since 2014. U.K. consumers have also increased their use of social logins, jumping from 60 percent in 2014 to 66 percent in 2015.
  • Both U.S. (56 percent) and U.K. consumers (43 percent) choose to login using their existing social identities primarily because they don't want to spend time filling in registration forms. Many also use social logins (43 percent and 28 percent respectively) because they don't want to create and remember one more username and password.
  • U.S. and U.K. respondents would be willing to share information if the data will only be used by the company in question (58 percent and 41 percent respectively), if the brand has made it very clear how it will use the information (52 percent and 38 percent), and if they're comfortable with the amount and type of information for which they're being asked (49 percent and 33 percent).
  • While approximately 20 percent of U.S. and U.K. respondents claim they've received between 4-5 irrelevant marketing messages every day, 17 percent of U.S. and 14 percent of U.K. consumers report receiving more than 10 irrelevant communications daily.
  • Twenty-five percent of U.S. and 17 percent of U.K. consumers claim they've been made upset by an insensitive marketing message, leading many consumers (27 percent and 20 percent respectively) to stop visiting the company's website or mobile app. Approximately 15 percent of U.S. and U.K. consumers have even stopped buying products from the given company because of irrelevant communications.
  • Overall, 31 percent of U.S. consumers polled would be comfortable using their social identities to login to smart or connected devices. Yet, while 33 percent are still unsure about connecting their digital identities to these objects, they are willing to consider it.
  • Fifty-seven percent of U.S. and 44 percent of U.K. consumers would use their Apple ID to register and login to websites and applications, while 50 percent and 40 percent, respectively, would also leverage their Apple ID to pay for items online. U.S. and U.K. respondents would also consider entering their mobile phone number (49 percent and 35 percent) or use their PayPal ID or Amazon ID (59 percent and 48 percent) if they could also pay for items on that website using that specific ID.

Key takeaway: Privacy and personalization must work in tandem to guarantee that trust and transparency reign supreme. However, as this study finds, consumers of all ages are increasingly willing to embrace the next generation in identity authentication if it means reducing their burden. For instance, social login isn't just championed by Millennials, as 75 percent of U.S. and 62 percent of U.K. consumers ages 55+ have used their social identity to authenticate via Web or mobile app. Forty-one percent of U.S. and 32 percent of U.K. consumers claim that they'd be comfortable logging into a site or mobile app using thumbprint or facial scan technology, as well. Therefore, as popular perception and acceptance begins to evolve, brands must advance their customer identity management strategies and establish scalability to accommodate and protect all types of data in an effort to develop the flexibility necessary to support this ongoing evolution of consumer identity and authentication.