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93% of all UK consumers worry about how brands use their data, according to cross-generational research from Adobe.

Adobe explored the nuances in digital behaviour across 1,200 UK consumers in the Gen Z (1996-present day), millennial (1977-1995), Gen X (1965-1976) and baby boomers (1946-1964) segments. The 'Across the Generations' study found that a fifth of respondents said they would cut out unwanted brands that don’t deliver the experience they want

The internet natives of GenZ were actually the most likely to be influenced by what they see on the internet - at least according to respondents. 43% of 1,200 UK consumers (weighted by age) believed that Gen Z was the most easily influenced online. 41% of the Gen Z agreed. Meanwhile, only 17% said baby boomers were the most gullible. Of course, consumer views aside, a study earlier this year found that baby boomers were the most likely to share fake news on Facebook.

Gen Z was “the savviest” when it comes to managing the data they share, with 33% taking an active role in configuring data preferences on social networks, compared with 29% across other age groups. Those under 23 also had the strongest understanding of the value exchange in providing their data to brands, 69% said they would, compared to 52% of baby boomers. 

Nontheless, a fifth (the highest) Gen Z consumers said they would restrict data to brands that don’t deliver experiences they expect.

Gen Z was the most receptive to online ads at 52%, compared with 30% across other age groups. On the otherhand, Baby Boomers are the most willing to swap their data for a discount or special offer (73%). This dropped each segment until reaching a low of 47% in Gen Z.

Gavin Mee, vice president of Northern Europe and Middle East and Africa at Adobe, said: “As ‘Digital Natives’, Gen Z have developed relationships with brands from a very early age, meaning they’re much more exposed to the data/experience value exchange. But companies can’t take these relationships for granted - if a brand falls short of their high expectations, this data-savvy age group has no problem restricting their data and moving to a competitor that can deliver a personalised, relevant experience.

“Across all generations, and especially with older age groups, brands need to build trust by being open about how they use personal data, and clear about the added value it enables them to deliver."