Data Privacy & You

According to Entrust's 'State of Consumer Data Privacy Survey' most people don’t really understand data privacy and yet many think they are protecting themselves. The survey is based on responses from 500 US and 500 UK-based adults who own a smartphone and attempts to assess consumers attitude towards their data privacy and security 
 
Entrust have found that modern consumers are willing to trade their personal data for personalisation, but they also have fast-growing concerns about data privacy. In particular, business leaders need to protect consumer data and to educate customers on best practices. .
 
“It is imperative that business leaders ensure that they protect consumer data with strong encryption and high-assurance, cloud-based authentication while educating their customers on data protection best practices,” said Cindy Provin, Entrust's VP Data protection at Entrust.
 
In fact, 64% of consumers are at least somewhat willing to share personal information with an app in exchange for more relevant, personalised and/or convenient services. A big majority (83%) of consumers are reasonably comfortable with using or storing biometric data with apps and services. Further, the majority of consumers (61%) also indicated that they’re at least somewhat willing to share personal information with an app in exchange for more transparency and control over their data. 
 
While many consumers are willing to exchange their personal information for some benefit, they’re still concerned about their data privacy, and those concerns are quickly increasing. 
 
According to the findings, the majority of consumers (79%) are at least somewhat concerned about their data privacy, and 64% said their concern or awareness about data privacy has increased over the past 12 months. However, a growing concern around data privacy doesn’t mean consumers are taking the necessary steps to protect their personal information.
 
  • The majority of consumers (60%) attribute news stories about attacks and security breaches as their top reason for heightened concerns, followed by an increased number of targeted ads based on their online behavior (48%). 
  •  While (82%) of consumers considered themselves at least somewhat proactive about maintaining their data privacy, almost half of them (43%) said they don’t carefully review the terms and conditions before downloading a new app. 
  • Of those who don't bother to read the terms and conditions, the majority (69%) listed the amount of time it takes to read them as their reason for not doing so while 28% said they don’t read terms and conditions because they don’t understand them. 

Entrust's research highlights the contradictions in consumer sentiment toward data privacy and security:

  • 77% of consumers are concerned about their data privacy, but few are willing to change habits:
  •  UK consumers are willing to trade their personal data for personalisation
  • 63% of consumers are willing to exchange personal information with an app just for some form of personalisation 
  • 82% are comfortable with storing personal biometric data - fingerprints or facial scans - with apps and services 
  • News stories about attacks and security breaches are leading to increased concern about data privacy for UK consumers
  • 62% said concern / awareness about data privacy has increased over the past 12 months
  • 60% of consumers credit news stories as their top reason for heightened concerns, followed by increases in targeted ads based on their online behaviour (48%) 
  • Despite growing concern, UK consumers are not taking the necessary steps to protect their personal information
  • 47% don’t carefully review the T&Cs before downloading a new app
  • 70% blame the amount of time it takes to read them and 29% said they don’t understand what the T&Cs explain
Younger people want more personalisation:  The survey revealed that 69% of Gen Z consumers are more willing to share their personal information with an app in exchange for more relevant, personalised and/or convenient services; this number jumps to 70% for Millennials. Sixty percent of Gen X consumers and 48% of Baby Boomer consumers said the same. 
 
UK consumers trust their employers, government agencies and financial institutions with their data more than US consumers:  When comparing the UK and US, the data revealed that 35% of UK consumers trust their employers to keep their information secure; this number decreases to 27% for US consumers. Similarly, 31% of UK consumers trust their government agencies to keep their data secure while only 19% of US consumers said the same. Finally, 41% of UK consumers trust their bank/financial institutions with their information; this number decreases to 35% for US consumers.
 
The Entrust survey shows that voters will need to become better educated to be able to understand data privacy regulations. Facebook is just one of the major technology platforms that have been criticised for  their use of consumer personal data and both EU and US lawmakers are expected to introduce regulations to control the use of personal data this year.
 
This will have huge consequences on multi-billion dollar online advertising markets and data sellers.  
 
Entrust:      UK Tech News:     ZDNet:       Yahoo:    Security Boulevard:      Image: Unsplash
 
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