Facebook Commerce Brings Privacy Worries, Study Says

Nearly eight in 10 U.S. and U.K. consumers have privacy concerns when it comes to making purchases via Facebook, according to a new study conducted and released by ad agency JWT.

Out of around 1,000 adults surveyed online, 75 percent said they “don’t think Facebook is secure enough to make purchases on,” while almost as many declared they “wouldn’t use a shopping application on Facebook because of concerns that it could compromise my privacy – e.g., shared with third parties.”

And who worries most about privacy? Millennials (20 to 33 years old), the research discovered, even though consumers of that generation are also the most likely to purchase on Facebook. According to JWT, at least four in 10 people in that age group said they’d like more chances to browse product on the social site, compared to 26 percent for Generation X (aged 34 to 46) and 16 percent of Baby Boomers (47 to 66). Almost half of Millennials believe that they spend so much time on Facebook already, they might as well shop there as well, compared to a quarter of Gen Xers and 14 percent of Boomers.

Forty-eight percent of Millennials said they wish the shops they frequent offline had a Facebook page where they could buy directly. Just 27 percent of Gen Xers and 19 percent of Boomers concurred.

And, 46 percent of consumers said it’s helpful when brands target offers based on their Facebook profiles. Millennials were most likely to agree with that statement (59 percent), followed by Gen Xers (49 percent) and Boomers (31 percent).

New York-based JWT said it surveyed 971 people aged 20 and up from May 20 through June 1, while using questions put together after interviewing research, technology and business experts. The agency said it’s releasing research on a monthly basis, although it’s not all tech-focused.

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