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Data Privacy Concerns On the Rise Among Consumers Embracing New Tech: KPMG Study

KPMG has released a study wherein they have identified that consumers are more anxious, and although they are embracing new technology, they are more aware of the risks and benefits of handing over their data to businesses. The study includes a survey of 25,000 consumers in the UK, US, UAE, France, Brazil, Canada, China and India.

The study published by KPMG’s Global Consumer Insights program as part of the 2018 Me, my life, my wallet report, shows that almost half 47 % of consumers feel more anxious than last year and the same number feel more anxious than five years ago. Despite increasing anxiety and recent data scandals, three-quarters 75 % of consumers are still willing to provide businesses with their data.

The survey shows that a quarter of consumers (24 %) would not trade their data; however, millennial consumers are more likely (21 %) than their baby boomer counterparts (5 %) to trade their data for better customer experience and personalization. Likewise a fifth (19 %) of millennial consumers would trade their data for better products and services, versus just 8 percent of baby boomers. The study shows that younger consumers are just as anxious and concerned about identify fraud, however they are more likely to see the benefits of sharing data.

The survey further reveals majority of consumers are willing to provide businesses with data, half (51 %) of consumers are anxious about identity theft, and the majority (72 %) don’t trust anyone with their social media data.

The findings suggest that businesses can earn the loyalty of consumers by following four rules for data transparency:

  • Be open about why you’re asking for certain types of data.
  • Be clear about how you will protect it.
  • Be honest about whether it is sold or shared outside the organization.
  • Don’t be selfish about the value of data – reward consumers for sharing their data with you.

The research shows that 85% of consumers want firms to protect their information without having to ask, and 77 % are against their data being sold on.

Consumers ranked industries in order of trustworthiness with health care on top and advertising at the bottom:

Top three:

  • Healthcare providers (60 percent)
  • Banking providers (59 percent)
  • Technology companies (54 percent)

Bottom three:

  • Wealth management (37 percent)
  • Government (37 percent)
  • Advertising (26 percent)

Globally, 71 % of consumers will trust a banking provider with their financial data, but only 9 percent would trust retailers with this information. Likewise, 47 % of consumers would trust a telecoms provider with their mobile data, but only 8 percent would trust advertisers.

The study shows that consumers are more willing to share financial data than social media or browser history data. Seventy-two percent of consumers don’t trust anyone with their social media data, 68 % with their search history or browsing data, and 81 % don’t trust behaviorally tracked ads; only 41 % wouldn’t trust any type of business with their payments data.

Consumers like new technology – but they want value from sharing their data

The study shows that two-thirds (66 %) of consumers are interested or very interested in technology. This number jumps in the fast-growing economies of India (83%) and China (81 %). Consumers in these “tech-boom” countries, are more likely to shop online 59 % in China and 54 percent in India compared to the global average of 37% and are more likely to trust businesses with their data. Ninety-one % of consumers in China and 85 % in India are happy to exchange their data.

Globally, 51 % of consumers are anxious about identity theft, 48 % about the hacking of financial, medical, or other personal info online, 46 % about theft of credit card info when shopping online, and 38 % unauthorized tracking of their online habits by companies, governments or criminals.

Almost half (47%) of consumers feel more anxious than last year and the same number feel more anxious than 5 years ago. UAE (60 %) and Brazil (58 %) see the highest figures, with France (37 %), Canada (40 percent) and UK (40 %) showing lower levels of anxiety. Younger generations are more anxious than older generations. More than half (51 %) of Generation Y consumers feel more anxious than last year, compared to 46 % of Generation X consumers, and 36 % of Baby Boomers.

The results of KPMG’s study demonstrate that businesses are dealing with more data-savvy consumers who want to be in control. Two-thirds (67%) of consumers say they can determine what information is trustworthy, and a third (30 %) choose to disconnect from technology when they feel overwhelmed.

KPMG Global Chair of Consumer & Retail, Willy Kruh said “Companies must begin to appreciate that the modern consumer is highly aware of the worst ways in which their data can be misused. From hacking to unwarranted tracked advertising, consumers are rightly worried. Transparency and better communication will go a long way to reassuring customers that their data is in safe hands and that it is being used in their benefit.

“Every business needs to think hard about how to use data responsibly to build deeper insights and relationships with their customers.  And they have  to know that if they don’t, their competitors will.”

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