New Survey Research Conducted in Partnership with FreedomPay and Cornell University Highlights Gen Z’s Attitudes on Data Privacy and Sharing

Gen Zers are more willing to share biometrics info than details from their social media accounts

PHILADELPHIA, June 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- New research released today from FreedomPay, conducted in partnership with Cornell University, a leader in Hotel Administration and Hospitality Management, explores Gen Z student’s attitudes towards data privacy and their willingness to share their personal information. Age, email, income, and GPS location were among other personal details the study explored and participants willingness to share with payment platforms and merchants.

The research – which surveyed 200 Cornell Generation Z students, defined as those born in 1995 or later – found that the perceived privacy level of a piece of information has a significant impact on participants’ willingness to share with third parties, such as banks and retailers.

To start, the researchers first determined how participants might categorize the privacy level for several pieces of data. Placed on a 6-point scale, with 1 equaling extremely unlikely to share and 6 equaling extremely likely to share, the data items were sorted as follows:

Privacy LevelData ItemsAverage Willingness

Email Address4.76
Date of Birth4.59
Phone Number4.04

Shopping Preference3.40
Shopping History3.36
Expected Monthly Expense3.03
Social Media Account2.78

GPS Location1.95
Medical Record1.71

Rewards Incentivize Sharing
The findings indicate that customers are more inclined to give out personal information if there is a reward involved, and participants were clear about how much – and what data – they would be more willing to share.

Within these privacy level categories of low, medium, and high, data in the medium category was the most likely to be swayed by a monetary reward. The research also suggested that Gen Z appears to be generally less willing to share their personal information than other groups.

The study found that a $15 reward incentive seemed to have limited impact on respondent’s willingness to disclose high-level privacy details. On the other side of the spectrum, a monetary reward also seemed to have a minimal influence for low level data sharing, considering that participants are generally more agreeable to part with this information.

Taking a closer look at the data, in offering Gen Zers a $15 reward, their willingness to share data increases across the three privacy categories:

  • 11% more likely to share low-privacy data
  • 27% like to share medium-privacy information
  • High-privacy data is more likely to be shared 24%

Additionally, the research revealed preferences in terms of the rewards offered for sharing information as well:

  • Participants prefer cash discount to loyalty points (at 69% and 31% respectively)
  • They are likely to choose loyalty points if that value is 20x greater than cash discount value
  • For those Gen Zers who prefer loyalty points, food & beverage was the most preferred category (at 44)
  • The least popular options include debit cards, gas, grocery stores, and the hospitality industry
  • Other participants were equally likely to choose food & beverage and retailers equally

Among the generations, Gen Zers earned the lowest score revealing they are less willing to share personal details than other generations – re-emphasizing that this generation does place a high priority on privacy issues.

“We were so delighted to be able to work with these outstanding students, who were able to uncover some truly great insights about Gen Z and how they think about data and their threshold for sharing,” said Liesl Smith, Senior Vice President Marketing & Sales Enablement at FreedomPay. “While they are privacy-oriented and have clear priorities on what to protect – one student shared that her social media accounts were as important to her as her Social Security number – there are also clear opportunities for retailers and merchants to reach these consumers with the right mix of promotions.”

“Our students have enjoyed being able to partner with FreedomPay on this excellent research,” noted Aija Leiponen, Professor of Strategy and Business Economics at Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University. “All partners were fully engaged which enabled our students to truly dive in and try to uncover the fundamentals of this generation and how they view and protect their data privacy.”

Visit to download the research.

FreedomPay’s Next Level Commerce™ platform transforms existing payment systems and processes from legacy to leading edge. As the premier choice for many of the largest companies across the globe in retail, hospitality, lodging, gaming, sports and entertainment, foodservice, education, healthcare and financial services, FreedomPay's technology has been purposely built to deliver rock solid performance in the highly complex environment of global commerce. The company maintains a world-class security environment and was first to earn the coveted validation by the PCI Security Standards Council against Point-to-Point Encryption (P2PE/EMV) standard in North America. FreedomPay's robust solutions across payments, security, identity, and data analytics are available in-store, online and on-mobile and are supported by rapid API adoption. The award winning FreedomPay Commerce Platform operates on a single, unified technology stack across multiple continents allowing enterprises to deliver an innovative Next Level experience on a global scale.

The Dyson School is a part of both the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business.

This unique positioning, straddling two leading colleges, allows the school to offer robust undergraduate and graduate programs ranked among the most competitive in the world. Meanwhile, the Dyson School’s pioneering research programs tackle some of the world’s most intractable economic and social issues.

At Dyson, we immerse our students in unparalleled learning experiences. This is applied learning like no place else.

If today’s business students are to become tomorrow’s innovators and leaders, they need more than yesterday’s business school.

At the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, students take on real global challenges through an immersive, collaborative learning experience. With internationally renowned areas of expertise in food and agricultural economics, management, environmental and resource economics, and international and development economics, the Dyson School is perfectly poised to fulfill its core mission: to use business for the greater good.

Media Contact
Hill and Knowlton Strategies for FreedomPay
Jennifer Tayebi

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at