New research has uncovered a reluctance among consumers towards the sharing of personal data collected by wearable technology.

A study from Chicago-based digital marketing agency Acquity Group shows that 80% of consumers are unhappy about the privacy issues that wearable ‘Internet of Things’ technologies may create.

Marketers have been urged to keep tabs on developments for connected devices such as smartwatches, fitness trackers and sleeping monitors as they look to harness their data for use in smarter campaigns.

Analysts believe the evolution of wearable technology will enable companies to develop a much more granular understanding of people’s behaviours through the technology they use. However, gathering this data could present something of a hurdle to their plans.

Consumers demand compensation

In short, it seems consumers are willing to share their personal data on the proviso that they receive something in return. Acquity Group’s survey shows that 28% are willing to let go of their personal information for coupons and discounts that suit their lifestyles.

Gym equipment is one of the areas expected to become heavily connected in the coming years. The results showed that 22% of consumers are prepared to release their wearable data so long as they gain information on how to improve their workouts.

The same proportion were after insights on the best foods to suit their workouts, while coupons for fitness gear – a slight extension of the most popular choice – registered with 19%.

Discounts and free services, it seems, may prove effective ways of getting consumers to submit their wearable data. Judging by the mere 9% who said they would share their data for free, incentives may be the easiest way for brands to collect the information they need for stronger, more relevant activity.

Paid-for services

To further amplify the need for an exchange of valuables, some of the group even claimed they would pay for connected features based on their own data.

Location-based coupons inspired by frequently purchased foods piqued the interest of 86%, while 85% said they were intrigued by the delivery of recipes inspired by the contents of their fridge.

A total of 33% of consumers even declared a willingness to watch targeted commercials based on their data. With this in mind, the onus will be on brands to ensure they are constantly able to provide value with their personalised content.