Marketing Madness

Are Social Logins A Privacy Risks?

Janrain®, the leading company that created the Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) category, today announced the results of a new Consumer Identity Trends survey that shows while social login use is growing in popularity thanks to the 75% now suffering from password fatigue, 93% are nonetheless concerned about how their account data and activity is being shared and used.

While consumers are largely in favor of biometric authentication–66% like the idea of using fingerprint scanning or voice recognition to access accounts online–social logins, which allow web users to quickly sign up or log on to sites using the credentials from another site, are overwhelmingly the preferred authentication method. Facebook continues to dominate in social login rankings with 63% of all social logins using its platform. This is up from 45% in Q1. Google comes in second with 36% (up from 25% in Q1), Yahoo at 10% (up from 7.5%) and Twitter with 9% (up from 6.5%). From Q1 to Q2, these four social platform sites all gained momentum from the rest of social platforms. Facebook increased the most between the two quarters, gaining 18%.

The Benefits of Personalization vs. the Consequences of Over-Marketing

The majority of web users (58%) say they accept the value and convenience of using social logins while another 58% say they often refuse to sign up to a new site without one. Perhaps most heartening for marketers is the discovery that a quarter of people are already realizing the personalization benefits that come from using the same identity across two or more of their accounts.

But companies that want to continue enjoying the data their customers have trusted them with must exercise caution in how that data is used–especially since nearly half of those surveyed say brands are failing in the way they market to them. (A third of users aren’t sure.) Not only does misuse hurt adoption of social logins among users, Janrain’s survey shows it can result in even more serious ramifications: a third of web users will punish over-marketing by not returning to the offender’s website, while a quarter warn that they’ll stop buying products from the company altogether. Brands must find meaningful ways to engage at an individual consumer level.

Data Sharing: A Matter of Transparency and Control

While it’s already been demonstrated that users have grown much more comfortable with sharing personal information in exchange for more personalized marketing and services, Janrain’s survey shows 47% are willing to share their account data and activity as long as it’s used only by the company, while 45% want the company to be very clear in how their info will be used.

However, for many (38%), it depends on the amount and type of data. Of all those surveyed, 39% are comfortable with sharing movies, books or sports teams they’ve Liked on Facebook, for instance. This presents brands with a growing opportunity to connect to the interests and hobbies of consumers for much deeper relationships. Few, on the other hand, are automatically willing to share such personal info as political views (13%), religion (12%), relationship status (10%), friends (8%), and photos (7%), while less than a quarter will share info simply to get something in return, such as a product offer or exclusive content.

“Social logins are table stakes for online businesses since most web users will no longer sign up to a new site without them,” said Janrain VP of Product Jamie Beckland. “But privacy concerns are understandably high given some recent high-profile data breaches. Businesses need to do a better job in the way they use account data to market to users, as well as make sure they’re clearly explaining how the account info they access is used and shared.”

575 U.S. residents 18 years old and over participated in the Janrain Consumer Identity Trends survey, conducted online during the month of September 2016.

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Pesach Lattin

Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pace Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.

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