Consumer Concerns Rise as 65% Doubt AI’s Data Handling, Survey Reveals

Amid the FTC's investigation into OpenAI for potential consumer protection law breaches, recent research underscores consumer concerns and a call for regulation. According to Capterra's 2023 Retail AI Security Risks Survey, 65% of respondents believe that AI tools are not responsibly managing their personal data.

Experts believe that generative AI has the potential to assist smaller retailers in competing with industry giants. However, consumers are still worried about how these tools will manage the data they provide in return for tailored online shopping interactions.

“Unlike human salespeople, AI can draw from vast data sets, ensuring a more comprehensive and personalized shopping experience. For growing retailers, AI adoption means a potential surge in sales conversions, deeper insights into customer preferences, and the ability to scale customer interactions without significant overhead,” says Molly Burke, senior retail analyst at Capterra.

It's worth highlighting that just 35% of online shoppers have confidence in AI tools to handle their data responsibly. People have grown worrisome compared to the previous year, with 64% of online shoppers expressing greater concerns about AI.

A striking 86% of respondents are in favor of more strict regulations on AI. Moreover, while many shoppers are open to sharing product reviews and style preferences with AI tools, very few are willing to provide the type of sensitive information needed for a fully personalized AI-driven shopping experience, including biometric data, images of themselves, and payment details.

With AI regulation on the rise, a potential way to bridge the gap between AI adoption and user trust could be through human oversight, a concept referred to as "human-in-the-loop" AI. More than half (60%) of the shoppers surveyed indicated they feel more assured about AI tools when there's human involvement.

AI has become a valuable asset for expanding businesses, as 58% of online shoppers express a desire to use AI tools for personalized online shopping. Surprisingly, almost half (45%) are open to sharing personal information with AI to receive tailored product recommendations despite their overall concerns regarding data security.

Similarly, another survey by StoryStream found that around 94% of consumers expressed the desire for increased transparency and regulation regarding the use of Generative AI technology in marketing and advertising. When it comes to personalization, around 77% of users believed that generative AI technology would result in more personalized and relevant marketing experiences.