Study: Privacy is gone, but that's OK because we get stuff for free

By James Robinson , written on June 2, 2014

From The News Desk

Well, that’s depressing.

A new study out from Accenture debuting at the end of last week, surveying 2,012 adults between the ages of 20 and 40 from across the United States and the United Kingdom, found that in today's digital world 80 percent of us don't believe that total privacy exists anymore. Worse, however, is that we seem to be accepting of with this new reality.

Accenture’s research captures the essential Catch-22 of the privacy discussion in a world where we’re all completed addicted to the conveniences offered by our digital overlords.

Because firstly, we know overwhelmingly that more could be done to protect our information and our own personal interests. The vast majority of respondents -- 87 percent -- felt that not enough was being done to protect their information. Seventy percent felt that businesses were guilty of not being transparent with how their information was being used. When asked to guess how much of their personal information was properly protected, 40 percent of people guessed just 10 percent. Just as many people felt like the information they hand over online was being sold as thought companies were using it to provide better products, services, or pricing.

It all sounds like a clarion call for change, right? You’d think so. But… no. When Accenture last did its survey in 2012, there was near universal concern -- 85 percent -- about websites tracking buying behavior. That number has since plummeted by 20 percent.

This decline scarily suggests that we’re sliding ever closer to acknowledging our loss of privacy rather than pushing back. The bottom line is, at least according to Accenture, that we’ll happily embrace our own Orwellian nightmares in exchange for discounted consumer goods. Two thirds of respondents were happy to be tracked by a retailer unbeknownst to them and receive text messages in store with offers that matched their buying preferences.

Yeah, it's totally worth Target knowing where I live if I get a sweet 2-for-1 on t-shirts. Don't you agree?