Consumers are More Worried About Online Privacy than “Losing Principle Income”

Rafia Shaikh

A new report reveals that consumers are more worried about their online privacy than losing their primary income. The concerns seem to have escalated in the last 12 months as 45% more people are now disconcerted about their online privacy.

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Online privacy and data collection - are you worried?

American consumers are more concerned about "not knowing how personal information collected online is used" than they are about losing their primary source of income, a new research by National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and TRUSTe reveals. The US Consumer Price Index 2016 highlights some interesting aspects of this increasing awareness of online privacy in the last one year.

  • 75% of Americans believe they adequately protect their personal online data. What happens actually is no surprise.

  • 33% of Americans appreciate that they can read up on privacy policies, only 16% have actually done this.

  • 43% of users are aware they can change social media settings, but only 29% have done this.

While it may seem like users aren't doing their part to protect their privacy, companies do seem to be losing loyalty and revenues due to an increasing concern for digital privacy. The study shares:

  • 74% of users limited their online activity due to privacy concerns.
  • 47% of users stopped using a website or an app because they felt they were asked to provide too much info.
  • 28% stopped an online transaction.
  • A whopping 51% of users didn't click on an online ad.
  • 32% didn't download an app or product.
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Moving from revenues to how businesses can grow trust among users, the research shares that 42% users wish to know how the data collected is being used by the companies, while an almost equal number of users want to have clear procedures to remove personal information.

38% of Americans think online privacy is more important than national security - hear, hear NSA!

Like many privacy activists, this research reveals that 64% of users also think that online privacy should be a human right. The study was released on the Data Privacy Day, January 28 to raise awareness about the best data privacy practices from consumers' perspective. Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA said,

There is a high level of concern about how data is being protected, but there is a big disconnect in there, too. Less than a third of those people who are worried about data privacy reported that they understood how companies can share their personal information -- only 31 percent. I think right now, there is a tremendous opportunity for the business community to really engage with their customers about these issues.

As we come from a year full of news and reports of data collection attempts by companies and governments, some steps taken by tech intermediaries to give the handle to the consumers was definitely appreciated, at least by users. Moving forward, it appears only the companies open about their data collection practices will be able to earn more consumer trust in the long run. For more details and statistics, here is the complete infographic.

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