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'Businesses must work harder to be seen as digitally trustworthy in the eyes of their customers'

'Businesses must work harder to be seen as digitally trustworthy in the eyes of their customers'

Survey finds consumers worry that details about them are gathered without consent.

Despite a slight lessening of concern about data privacy over the past year, 62 per cent of consumers are still concerned about continuing well publicised data breaches.

This is among the top findings of the new SAS global research on Mobility, Vulnerability and the State of Data Privacy.

The research, which covered 15 countries, also finds the level of concern in Australia and New Zealand was higher, at 66 per cent.

“Whichever the country, marketing and customer engagement is now all about personalisation,” notes Iggy Pintado, SAS Australia and New Zealand head of marketing.

“Consumers increasingly expect to be told about things that appeal to them individually and they willingly cooperate by disclosing their personal information. However, they are clearly concerned that their information may not be held securely and they worry that details about them are gathered without consent.”

“Interestingly, while women globally were much more concerned than men about what businesses do with their personal data, there was no difference between them in Australia and New Zealand,” says Pintado, in a statement. “Nor was there any difference here based on income. However, concern amongst consumers aged 40 and older was double that of younger people.”

Only two in five people are confident about security with in-store technology.

Read more: Your car's computers might soon get malware protection


Related: The ethics of big data is an industry concern: Dr Barry Devlin

The research also finds ANZ consumers are very willing to provide vendors with their names and email addresses but reluctant to give their age, a mailing address or phone number.

Generally, New Zealanders were more forthcoming than Australians, says Pintado. When respondents were asked what degree of control they felt they had over the personal information they shared with organisations, more than 25 per cent said they felt they had none at all.

Read more: 5 things you should know about two-factor authentication

“Local findings are perhaps influenced by the enthusiasm Australians and New Zealanders have for new technologies,” says Pintado, “and by our comparatively very high use of the internet”.

In New Zealand, 95 per cent of the population are internet users, compared to 93 per cent in Australia, and less than 50 per cent globally.

While similarly high percentages of consumers in both countries were concerned about the security of their information when recorded using smart phones, PCs, laptops and tablets, there were stark differences elsewhere.

Sixty-three per cent of Australians worry about security using smart watches compared with 23 per cent for New Zealand, and Australians’ concern about wearables is twice that of New Zealanders. Globally, only two in five people are confident about security with in-store technology.

Read more: Gartner to enterprises: ‘May the algorithmic force be with you’

“This research proves that businesses must work harder to be seen as digitally trustworthy in the eyes of their customers,” concludes Pintado.

“Senior executives across the organisation must balance the benefits of personalised marketing with the rigours of data security. Policies must clearly spell out how and what data is collected and shared, and there must be processes to ensure compliance. After all, a confident consumer is more likely to be a better customer.”

Forrester to marketers: 'Create a cultural commitment to prevent invasive marketing'

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Read more: CIO Upfront: Implications for NZ organisations of the new EU data protection regulation

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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Tags ethicsdigitaldatasassecurityWearable technologybig datacmoIggy Pintado

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