Study: Consumers more willing to share data if it's beneficial for them

Less than a quarter of Australians are aware of what happens with their personal information after they share it

Less than a quarter (23 per cent) of Australians are aware of what happens with their personal information after they share it with a data collector. 

This is according to a new study by Here Technologies examining evolving attitudes of audiences toward data privacy and data sharing. 

The global study found three in five consumers reported the experience of having their data misused within the past three years, while the majority (75 per cent) remain concerned about sharing their personal information digitally. In Australia specifically, 47 per cent of Australians surveyed experienced inappropriate data use.

However, nine in 10 global consumers also understand the value associated with sharing their personal and location data in the provision of better products and services, and 70 per cent share their location data at least sometimes. 

People are more willing to share their data if it’s beneficial to them, such as for increasing safety and security, enabling a service or saving money. Consumers are overall most willing to share their location data with the mobility industry – public transport (up 8 per cent) and ride-hailing services (up 10 per cent) experienced the greatest increase in consumers’ willingness to share data over the past year. 

However, only 21 per cent of Aussies feel sharing their personal information is vital and necessary in our digitalised and connected world. Results also show acting as a trusted and reputable data collector is key to creating willingness to share both personal and location data, especially for tech-savvy consumers. 

“Our study clearly shows consumer behaviour is shifting when it comes to mobility-as-a-service [MaaS],” engineering manager of privacy services at Here Technologies, Aleksandra Kovacevic, said. “More consumers are willing to share their location data with a variety of digital services, mapping, navigation and mobility ones in particular, if businesses and service providers are transparent about their approach to using consumer data. 

“As mobility services and apps continue to proliferate, consumers see how essential their location data is in getting them from A to B. The onus, therefore, is on the businesses and governments to provide the infrastructure necessary to involve consumers as partners in data-first offerings. This will, in turn, create more intuitive services.” 

Director general of Esomar, which conducted the research for Here, Finn Raben, said the study shows it is possible to collect the data businesses need to provide and improve offers and services, while at the same time respecting the consumer through ethical and transparent data practices. 

“Not only can brands collect data, but they can improve trust and potentially boost revenue through transparency,” he said. 

Here Technologies, a provider of mapping and location platform services, carried out the study in partnership with Esomar and research partners, BuzzBack Research and Cint. The work included surveying 10,000 consumers across 10 markets, including the US, UK, Germany, France, Australia, Brazil and Japan.

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