Brands in APAC Face Increasing Challenge Incentivizing Consumers to Give Up Personal Data

The Dentsu report was conducted across 14 Asia Pacific countries with over 20,000 people between the ages of 16 and 64.

Dentsu has released its latest Data Consciousness Project report findings from across the Asia Pacific that aim to showcase how consumers feel and respond to brands accessing their data as the ability to collect and activate data. The study was conducted in Q4 2021 across 14 Asia Pacific countries, with over 20,000 people between the ages of 16 and 64 surveyed.

According to the survey report, “brands will face increasing challenges in incentivizing consumers to part with their personal data,” with 66% of respondents expecting to be able to decline to share any personal data without compromising on the level of service received.

This includes data tracking such as food delivery history being shared with restaurants in exchange for discounts, of which the survey found 59% of respondents were ok with; or cheaper car insurance in exchange for a device that tracks driving, which 42% said was ok.


According to Dentsu, feelings about data sharing will continue to evolve as consumers’ understanding of the value and sensitivity their data expands.

The study additionally found that people are likely to continue to be willing to share their data, including sensitive personal data, in situations where there are “specific benefits to be gained or where there would be a positive societal impact,” said Dents

64% said they are happy to share their health data for medical research and 58% are willing to have their carbon footprint tracked to help the fight against climate change.


For Gen X and Gen Y, discounts on food (in exchange for food delivery history) and travel offers (in exchange for travel history) were among the most valued benefits, while outcomes that advanced peoples’ personal sense of purpose were also consistently favored.

“As consumers become more sentient about data, the onus is on brands to design compelling and fair data-value exchanges,” said Christine McKinnon, Head of Business Intelligence, Dentsu Solutions.

“Brands need to address 5 key variables: the purpose which the collected data will be used for, the benefit to the consumer in exchange for sharing that data, the consumer’s level of trust in the brand, how much control the consumer has in determining whether and what to share, and the perceived sensitivity of the data.”

‘Data Cultures’

The study also explored countries’ ‘data cultures’, which mapped markets according to their relative openness towards technology, and their attitudinal bias between ‘dataism’ and ‘humanism’.

Dataism posits that only by being data-led can we advance further and faster, while Humanism rests on the belief that we should never let technology lead in an unfettered manner.

According to Dentsu, as an overall trend, a skew towards dataism went hand in hand with greater openness to technological change.

“Under the surface, feelings of resignation due to the lack of autonomy we have over how our data is used are fuelling a reclamation of control.”

Regardless of nationality, concerns around the opacity of how brands use their data and potential misuse of personal data were significant across the board, the Dentsu survey found.

62% of respondents do not know how their personal data is being used, while 72% feel that organizations will need to demonstrate higher standards of ethical behavior as far as personal data is concerned.

74% believe that the government needs to play a bigger role in regulating the use of personal data by companies.

“Transparency around why data is being collected is critical for brands looking to build trust. But brands must also effectively convey the ‘then what’ proposition – how the customer or society stands to gain from the data exchange,” said Jonathan Edwards, Head of Data and Transformation Asia Pacific, dentsu Solutions.

74% believe that the government needs to play a bigger role in regulating the use of personal data by companies.

“This must be designed with a clear understanding of that specific audience’s data culture. Which is especially pertinent given the increasing sensitivity of data which brands will have access to, as wearables and metaverse experiences enter the mainstream.”

“Consumers expect brands to act responsibly in all areas. As marketers, we should be setting the building blocks for a humane and safe digital future now. Ensuring consumers are empowered in their data decisions is not only an ethical strategy, but a profitable one.” Said Yusuke Kasahara, CEO Asia Pacific, dentsu Solutions.

To learn more about the survey, go here.