Deloitte Australian Privacy Index: Fears about sharing personal information online

New research has revealed our worst fears about sharing personal information with government and businesses online.

Australians worried about online surveillance are demanding greater transparency and control over the use of their personal information which is shared with government and businesses.

According to the 2022 edition of the Deloitte Australian Privacy Index, consumers are looking for transparency, assurance and control.

Deloitte national privacy and data protection lead partner Daniella Kafouris said consumers had shared more personal data than ever during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Working, learning, buying and even entertaining from home and online has significantly shifted the dial in positive and perhaps not-so-positive ways – from consumers benefiting from greater personalization in their digital experiences, to genuine concerns about how their data is used, ” she said.

“What is clear is that a disconnect remains between consumer expectations and how brands collect and use personal data.

“As a result, there needs to be a better balance between consumers finding personalization helpful and what could be considered overreaching.”

Some of the key findings include:

  • 43 percent of consumers are happy to share their personal information;
  • Two per cent of brands are disclosing potential data sharing, online tracking or other uses of data;
  • 74 per cent of consumers think companies collect their browsing information, while 83 per cent of brands appear to conduct online monitoring; and
  • 51 per cent of people are uncomfortable with their online activity being tracked, while 82 per cent are unhappy with their location data being shared with other companies.

Ms Kafouris said people aged under 35 generally saw more value in tailored advertising.

“As we looked through older age brackets, we found that increasingly more consumers perceive personalized experiences as crossing what we call a ‘creepy line’ that hinders the customer experience and, by extension, a brand’s ability to build trust and engage with them,” she said.

The report suggests companies increase transparency by disclosing how personal information is used, use consistent language to describe online tracking to avoid consumer confusion, and set privacy as the default.

It also suggests brands allow consumers to provide their preferences for personalization to reduce the creepy factor and communicate the privacy protections in place.


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