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Press Release

New DataGrail Research, The Great Privacy Awakening, Underscores How Far People are Willing to Go to Protect Their Personal Information in Absence of Federal Regulations

DataGrail, October 27, 2022

October 27, 2022 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

SAN FRANCISCO–DataGrail, the leading data privacy platform for building consumer trust and eliminating risky business, today unveiled the results of a powerful new study exploring consumer attitudes about data privacy. In the absence of federal regulations to protect consumer privacy rights, The Great Privacy Awakening report highlights how people are taking a myriad of actions to safeguard their privacy. The report reveals important implications for businesses and elected officials, as consumers demand greater protections and believe that privacy is a fundamental human right. When people feel like their data is in good hands, they are more willing to shop, share, and interact. Yet, when brand trust erodes, people walk away and take their business elsewhere.

Notably, researchers found that people are:

  • Fed up with or creeped out by existing data privacy practices (57% of people)
  • Willing to pay to $100 or more annually keep their information out of the hands of companies and the government (67% of people)
  • Abandoning brands that don’t take care of their data (75% of people), signaling that privacy is the new table stakes for customer loyalty—especially consumers in the most high-spend demographics, and
  • Fearful of how their information can be used, particularly in the wake of Roe Vs. Wade being overturned (44% of people). As such, many are changing the ways they approach their online lives.

Consumers Talk with Their Feet

People – especially in age groups with the greatest spending power – are ready to take their business elsewhere if they believe their privacy isn’t treated with respect. In fact:

  • In the U.S. 74% of people would abandon their favorite retailers if they found out the retailer didn’t keep their personal data safe. The numbers were highest among Millennials and Gen Z – groups that represent the biggest spenders today.
  • Despite a looming recession and inflationary pressure, 3 out of 4 people would shop at a brand they trusted over saving a few dollars at an online shop they didn’t know or trust.

Roe v. Wade Spurs Online Changes

In the wake of the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, 44% of all Americans have become more fearful about what information they share on apps and online. These percentages skyrocket when broken down by gender and age group. For example:

  • 66% of Millennial and Gen Z women have made changes, deleted, or plan to delete period tracker apps on their devices.
  • Of these women, 33% have already made such changes.

People Want Privacy Rights

Data privacy is overwhelmingly a bi-partisan issue, with Americans across the political spectrum expressing that privacy is a fundamental right.

  • 83% of Americans believe there should be a federal law granting them privacy protections.
  • In absence of a federal law, Americans are much more afraid (⅔ to ⅓) for their privacy than European citizens who are protected by GDPR regulations.

Awareness Leads to Action

This awareness translates to consumers taking more aggressive action to safeguard their personal data. Aside from common actions like deleting their browsing history, using ad blockers, and changing ad preferences:

  • 30% of people opt to browse the Internet in incognito mode to avoid detection and tracking, and
  • 32% of Americans are using Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature to ask apps not to track them in just the past year since its introduction.

As the desire for greater online privacy starts to reach a fever pitch, Americans are willing to pay to protect their information from being tracked by governments and targeted by businesses. In fact, 2% of people indicated they would pay over $5,000 per year while 48% would pay up to $200 per year for such a service.


There is a persistent belief in society that people are not overly concerned about data privacy. But DataGrail’s survey shows otherwise. For example:

  • 60% of people are concerned about their online privacy
  • 53% feel they have little control over their online identity
  • 34% feel overwhelmed about managing their privacy

And people are more aware than ever that companies are selling their data to third parties, with 79% of people expecting to have control over how their data is used by a business.

These collective findings underscore that Americans are fed up with the lack of control they have over their personal information, and as awareness increases, they will demand more from brands and elected leaders. As such, businesses and politicians would do well to heed consumer calls for increased transparency and privacy controls.

“What we’re seeing is that people are going through a Great Privacy Awakening, which is in response to numerous events that have risen to the public consciousness, each striking closer to home and leaving consumers feeling vulnerable,” said Daniel Barber, CEO and founder of DataGrail. “People know privacy is a human right, and they are not willing to accept the status quo anymore. Data privacy and sharing in the digital age are not, and should not be, mutually exclusive. Given the choice, people will opt to share personal data with brands they trust, creating a flywheel of personalization (and revenue), all powered by privacy.”

To dive deeper into the study’s findings, as well as to see a timeline of events leading up to the Great Privacy Awakening, please explore the full report here.

For information on how DataGrail can help transform your data privacy management practices, go to


DataGrail partnered with Schlesinger Group to understand consumer sentiment around data privacy. In July of 2022, an online survey asked 2,000 Americans, 660 Britons, 660 French, and 660 German citizens questions related to privacy.

About DataGrail

Headquartered in San Francisco, the world’s most trusted brands partner with DataGrail on their data privacy journey, including Salesforce, FanDuel, Dexcom, Databricks, Instacart, amongst others. It has 4.8/5 stars on G2 and is backed by leading VCs and strategic investors, including Third Point Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Next47, Cloud Apps Capital Partners, Operator Collective, HubSpot, Okta Ventures, and American Express Ventures. Visit or follow DataGrail on Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more.

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