Most are concerned about data privacy, but few are willing to change habits

Today’s consumers are willing to trade their personal data for personalization, but also have fast-growing concerns about data privacy, according to a survey by Entrust.

concerned about data privacy

In fact, 64% of consumers are at least somewhat willing to share personal information with an app in exchange for more relevant, personalized and/or convenient services. And 83% of consumers are at least somewhat comfortable with using or storing biometric data with apps and services.

Further, 61% of consumers 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.

However, 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, 79% of consumers 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.

60% of consumers credit 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%).

Concern around data privacy doesn’t mean proactivity

But growing concern around data privacy doesn’t mean consumers are taking the necessary steps to protect their personal information. In fact, while 82% of consumers considered themselves at least somewhat proactive about maintaining their data privacy, 43% said they don’t carefully review the terms and conditions before downloading a new app.

Of the consumers who do not read terms and conditions, 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 what they explain.

“As digital life accelerates, organizations and end-users alike demand seamless, secure experience—without putting their data, identities and privacy at risk,” said Cindy Provin, senior VP and general manager, Identity & Data Protection at Entrust.

“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. Entrust offers a comprehensive portfolio of data protection solutions – and the deep crypto security expertise organizations need to minimize threats and enable a foundation of trust for digital life.”

Other key findings

Consumers rely on traditional news and media outlets for education about personal data protection. According to the findings, 38% of consumers use news and media sites to learn how to protect their personal information. That said, when ranking their trust in educational sources on personal data protection, consumers trust friends, family and data privacy organizations the most.

Conversely, news and media sites, video streaming and social networking sites ranked lowest in terms of trustworthiness.

Big brands have work to do if they want to earn consumer trust. According to the research, consumers still do not trust large, global brands to secure their data. In fact, only 21% of consumers trust established global brands to keep their personal information secure. This lack of trust could be why 31% of consumers actively monitor the news for any potential breaches involving their information.

Generations have different perspectives on protecting their data. When it comes to maintaining data privacy, 54% of Gen Z consumers said it takes too much time to manage their data across every app and service, while 37% of Millennials don’t believe they have much control over their data.

Forty-two percent of Gen X consumers accept privacy terms and conditions as part of using apps and 41% of Baby Boomers don’t know where to start in terms of privacy.

Younger generations crave more personalization. The survey revealed that 69% of Gen Z consumers are more willing to share their personal information (e.g., name, age, location, etc.) with an app in exchange for more relevant, personalized 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.

U.K. consumers trust their employers, government agencies and financial institutions with their data more than their U.S. counterparts. When comparing the U.K. and U.S., the data revealed that 35% of U.K. consumers trust their employers to keep their information secure; this number decreases to 27% for U.S. consumers.

Similarly, 31% of U.K. consumers trust their government agencies/organizations to keep their data secure while only 19% of U.S. consumers said the same. Finally, 41% of U.K. consumers trust their bank/financial institutions with their information; this number decreases to 35% for U.S. consumers.

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