In a new report by KPMG International, 55 percent of consumers said they had decided against buying something online due to privacy concerns.
The report, ‘Creepy or cool? Staying on the right side of the consumer line also found that less than 10 percent of consumers believe they have control over the way organisations handle and use their personal data today, with respondents in most countries saying that privacy control is more important than the potential convenience gained from sharing personal data.
The survey of nearly 7,000 consumers included 500 from Australia. Almost one-quarter of Australian consumers said they were extremely concerned about how companies handle and use personal information.
The ideas that people in Australia find most ‘creepy’ are:
The survey also found that people in Australia tend to read at least some of all privacy policies they come across online. Over nine in ten take steps to protect themselves online.
Other Australian headline findings were:
Gary Gill, KPMG Australia Forensic Partner, said: “The most effective thing organisations can do to assure customers that they can be trusted with people’s data is to tell them what they intend to do with the information and to assure them it won’t be shared with third parties.”
“They also need do demonstrate strong cyber security systems. Failure to imbed privacy into the DNA of their business strategy could ultimately lead to the extinction of a business given how closely consumers and regulators alike are paying attention to how organizations collect, store and use personal data.”
Gary Gill added: “Australian companies also need to be aware of mandatory data breach reporting, which is coming into force here next year. This has broad implications for companies who will be required to report breaches.”
‘Creepy’ versus ‘cool’
When it comes to the global attitudes on the usages of personal data, consumers draw the line in dramatically different places.
What one consumer finds ‘creepy’…
Another finds cool…
While concerns around the ‘creepy line’ vary, the overall top three concerns about the way organisations are handling and using their personal information were: unwanted marketing; personal information being sold on to third-parties and lack of secure systems. The survey found that strong cyber security systems (32 percent) are the most effective thing an organisation can do for customers to trust them with their personal data.
Over half of survey respondents said they were willing to share their gender, education or ethnicity online, while a considerably lower proportion were happy to share more sensitive information, such as location (16 percent), address (14 percent) or medical records (13 percent).
Consumers are increasingly taking matters into their own hands, with half of survey respondents saying they already delete their internet browser cookies or manage their social media settings. Almost one-third even use incognito or ‘do not track’ modes, while a quarter percent use encryption.
Other global highlights
Senior Communications Manager, KPMG
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