Thursday, 31 January 2019 02:17

Gen Z willing to sacrifice privacy for benefits of technology

Gen Z willing to sacrifice privacy for benefits of technology Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

A newly published international study, conducted by The Centre for Generational Kinetics and commissioned by WP Engine, has revealed the ways that different generations view and interact with the digital world, with Gen Z fwilling to sacrifice privacy for the personalisation that modern technology is able to provide.

The study shows that Gen Z, born between 1996 and 2010, are fuelled by technology in all facets of their life, and expect the Internet to connect them, entertain them, sell to them and build their digital brand.

According to WP Engine, these expectations also translate to what this generation is prepared to give up for their digital experience.

“We have seen that younger generations have been far less likely to opt out schemes like My Health Record, and 45% of Gen Z said that they are happy to provide their data to prioritise a personalised experience over privacy. Beyond that, 64% of Gen Z believe websites should already know what you are looking for before you tell them,” WP Engine notes.

The generational survey, a follow-up to one conducted in 2017, explores three key aspects of Gen Z’s relationship with digital: being online, buying online and building online.

WP Engine says the study found that Gen Z has a powerful tech-centric view of the future, and when thinking about how websites will function five years from now:

  •     Eighty-six percent of Gen Z believe that with biometrics (fingerprint and face recognition, voice and speech recognition), Internet authentication will be done without keyboards;
  •     Fifty-five percent believe websites will become more human in experience by exhibiting emotions when you visit and interact with them;
  •     Seventy-seven percent think that through augmented reality or virtual reality, the Internet will impact our view of the world constantly, wherever we are;
  •     Sixty-seven percent believe that everyone will have their own personalised virtual digital assistant (Siri, Alexa, etc.) to help them do everything they need to do online; and
  •     Eighty-one percent think all software and websites/digital experiences will have digital learning/AI capabilities.

“Gen Z is well on its way to becoming the largest generation of consumers by the year 2020,” said Mark Randall, Australia/New Zealand country manager at WP Engine.

“This will have profound implications for marketers and brands who, to effectively engage Gen Z, must embrace new technologies, experiment with new forms of communication, and internalise the nuances in how Gen Z seamlessly blends the analogue and digital worlds.”

According to WP Engine, from being to buying and building online, Gen Z is already changing the way we build digital experiences.

“While generations from Baby Boomers to Millennials continue to view the Internet as bimodal, Gen Z is the first generation to intrinsically combine the digital and the physical worlds. From now on, the digital experience will be synonymous with our human experience,” WP Engine csaid.

To read the complete Reality Bytes: The Digital Experience is the Human Experience” study, click here


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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