Regional differences in attitudes present the possibility of a dual economy for personal information: Crossing the line, KPMG International
78 per cent of individuals in India are ’cool’ with taxi services using their geo-location data, but do not share their personal information while shopping online
New Delhi – 14 December 2016 – According to a new report on consumer privacy by KPMG International, understanding consumers’ sensitivities around the use of their personal data is central to establishing and maintaining trust between a consumer and a company.
In the survey titled ‘Crossing the line’, KPMG International asked almost 7,000 members of the public in 24 countries a series of questions to understand in what circumstances they felt comfortable or uneasy about the use of their personal data — to discover where the so-called ‘creepy line’ lay.
Companies might like to monitor and harvest personal information of users at all times, but consumers are not comfortable with it. The survey explores different expectations and inhibitions of people at various points in time and for diverse services.
Emergence of a dual economy for personal information
The report highlights that 85per cent of Indians surveyed are ’cool’ with information being shared by fitness tracking devices and 78per cent are ’cool’ with taxi services utilising their location data compared to only 22 per cent in Denmark. However, half of the Indians did not shop online out of concern for their personal data being shared online. This presents the possibility of a dual economy for personal information. Some consumers are happy to hand over their personal data, while the more cautious can implement strategies — or potentially pay — to keep their data private. This makes it all the more important that organisations learn to use consumers’ data appropriately, to ensure consumers continue to provide their information freely.
“Data does not disappear, but it is possible to hide it. So it is not hard to envision the emergence of companies marketing online brand obfuscation — a service that helps you mask your identity or ‘rebrand’ it. It is the next logical step from online personal brand managers, which already exists. Companies might also see the development of personal brokers that market to consumers directly. A personal data broker would act as an intermediary between the individual and organisations looking to use their personal data. Imagine your car has broken down. You could get in touch with your data broker — who already knows your location, car model, registration and bank details — to sort out recovery and repair. The data broker model offers consumers a single point of contact, with all the relevant information at their fingertips, to sort out the end-to-end process.”, said Akhilesh Tuteja, Global Cyber Security Co-Leader, KPMG International.
The question of consumers’ willingness to share personal data is integral to the digital future. For India, sharing and privacy concern goes hand in hand. 71 per cent of Indians opted for ’control over privacy’ than ’convenience of service’. In a majority of countries, between 60 and 87 per cent of people said the same. It is going to take assurance, undertaking or strong cybersecurity measures for organisations to be trusted by the Indian population.
The survey revealed that globally, consumers trusted banks, health providers, law enforcement and local government organisations. Social media, retailers and gaming organisations were among the least trusted. On the contrary, for Indians, banking and central government organisations are most trusted organisations and happened to ask least unnecessary amount of personal information. Gaming and entertainment are least trusted organisations in India and both the organisations are also known to ask for unnecessary amount of personal information.
China, India and Singapore, in particular, show a high level of concern about the handling and use of their personal data. The proportion of people who were ‘extremely concerned’ was highest in these markets, at 39 per cent, 35 per cent and 32 per cent respectively.
Other global highlights
For companies seeking to use personal data to customise their marketing and services to the individual, build brand loyalty and develop better products, it is important they understand that although opinions on privacy vary around the globe, it is clear that, more than anything, consumers value privacy over convenience.
To view additional information about the study, please visit kpmg.com/crossingtheline. You can also follow the conversation @KPMG on Twitter.
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