Would you be comfortable with signing in to a website or mobile app using a thumbprint or face scan?

According to a new report and infographic by OnePoll and Gigya, many consumers would. The 2015 State of Consumer Privacy & Personalization (registration required), released today, found consumers demanding increased privacy and personalization are now opening up to the idea of using more advanced authentication methods, like biometrics and payment providers like PayPal and Amazon.

Patrick Salyer
“Although data privacy concerns are seemingly at an all-time high, it’s evident that consumers are prepared to share their personal information with businesses if presented with a clear value exchange and a high level of transparency,” said Gigya CEO Patrick Salyer, in a statement.

“In addition, as consumers continue to embrace advanced authentication methods, brands must equip themselves to handle an increasing volume and variety of rich identity data in order to provide truly relevant 1:1 experiences.”

Because Gigya is a customer identity management platform, the findings of its study certainly steer businesses toward its own identity solution. However, there are some points marketers should note.

Social Logins Still Going Strong

According to the study, social login adopters are growing rapidly, as 88 percent of US consumers and 66 percent of those in the UK stated they had logged into a website or mobile app using an existing digital identity from a social network like Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus.

The study noted an 11 percent increase in US adopters over last year’s survey, and a 35 percent increase since their 2012 survey.

Why are more people using their existing social network logins for other sites and apps? They’re tired of filling out long forms (56 percent US respondents; 43 percent UK), and they don’t want to have to remember another user name and password (43 percent US respondents; 28 percent UK).

The Rise of Identity 3.0

As opposed to Identity 2.0 methods such as social authentication, the report shows that consumers are opening up to next generation authentication methods, or “Identity 3.0.”

A significant number of both US (59 percent) and UK (48 percent) respondents indicated that they would log in and pay on a website or app using their PayPal or Amazon credentials.

Consumers in both geographies also said they would use their Apple ID’s to not only register and log in to websites and apps (57 percent US, 44 percent UK) but they would also pay with it (50 percent US, 40 percent UK).

And don’t forget the cell phones. The study showed that 49 percent of US respondents and 35 percent of those in the UK would be willing to register and/or log in using their mobile phones.

Reeyaz Hamirani, head of corporate communications at Gigya, gave this advice for companies interested in diving into Identity 3.0.

“Before implementing Identity 3.0 capabilities, businesses should first master the basics of Identity 2.0, such as offering consumers the option to authenticate their identities using their existing social profiles from networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+,” he said.

Learning Opportunities

“In addition to offering social login, companies should ensure that the rich, first-party identity data available from these networks is appropriately integrated into the brands' existing marketing technologies. These strategies and integrations can be used to identify users across devices and platforms, improving customer experiences and refining marketing communications while respecting user privacy. Once a company is making the most of Identity 2.0, the most logical next step is to enable login through payment providers – like Amazon and PayPal – and gradually progress to more advanced mechanisms like fingerprint verification.”

Privacy and Personalization Concerns Climbing

Not surprisingly, consumers still hold privacy and personalization as their highest concerns when it comes to their data and how companies are using it for marketing purposes.

The top reasons consumers name for not using their social identity to log in to other sites and apps? (1) They don’t want to give access to their information, and (2) they’re afraid companies might post or share without their permission.

The study went on to show that consumers would be more willing to provide access if companies could assure them that they won’t share their data, and also make it very clear how they plan to use the data.

As for personalization, the report shows that marketers need to take care that they don’t offend or even scare off customers with irrelevant messages.

In addition to respondents noting that they’ve been offended by an insensitive marketing message, 27 percent of US consumers and 20 percent of UK consumers indicate that they have stopped visiting a company’s site or app “upon receiving irrelevant information or products from a brand.”

“Biometric-based identity verification methods, such as fingerprint authentication and facial recognition, are not incredibly widespread, yet, but we anticipate they will be within the next five years,” concluded Hamirani. “These Identity 3.0 mechanisms might seem costly and complex to introduce at first, but apprehensive companies must consider that consumers are demanding this high level of convenience and security, and they might stop interacting with brands that do not offer them as data privacy concerns continue to escalate.”

OnePoll and Gigya surveyed 2,000 US and 2,000 UK consumers age 18 and older to gather results for The 2015 State of Consumer Privacy & Personalization.

Gigya infographic

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License Title image by Zuerichs Strassen.