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Consumers willing to dump apps that collect personal data

While distrustful of third parties who capitalise on the use of private data, consumers believe advanced technologies such as AI could help to cure the data privacy problem.

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Many people feel powerless to affect change when it comes to data-collecting apps
Many people feel powerless to affect change when it comes to data-collecting apps

Consumers are increasingly distrustful of third parties using and capitalising on their private data, but many feel powerless to affect change, according to new research.

 

In a consumer data privacy survey conducted for on-device artificial intelligence solutions provider, Anagog, two in three consumers said they are willing to dump data-collecting apps if the information collected is unrelated to the app’s function.

 

Cure required for global epidemic

 

More than four fifths of all consumers (84 per cent) surveyed about their data privacy concerns in the study said they are aware the major internet companies are collecting their personal information and using it for their own benefit and/or selling it to third parties.

 

While one in 10 (8 per cent) said they don’t think it is a “big deal” that internet giants collect their private data without permission, they were in the minority.

 

More than one third of participants (36 per cent) called this a “global epidemic that needs a cure”, while two fifths (38 per cent) said they are resigned to the fact that it’s a problem, but it can’t be avoided. Another one fifth (19 per cent) said: “It’s absolutely criminal to take my personal data.”

 

Nonetheless, the survey, also revealed optimism in the face of a looming data privacy crisis, with more than 70 per cent of respondents saying they believe solutions exist that can cure the problem.

“Consumers are inured to simply accepting whatever permissions are asked for and continuing with the download, and it’s causing a data privacy crisis around the world”

For instance, 42 per cent said they’d like to have access to marketing deals on their mobile phones without having their personal data collected, and another 29 per cent said they believe companies should use advanced technologies such artificial intelligence to pull in relevant offers to their private phones, based on their profile calculated on their phones while keeping their anonymity, rather than sending their private data to marketers’ unknown external clouds.

 

But even armed with this awareness and scepticism about the intentions of internet giants and apps vendors, three quarters of respondents said they do not know how to tell when and if apps are collecting their personal information.

 

Two thirds of consumers (64 per cent) said their biggest fear about data collection is that identity thieves will get their hands on their private data. Other concerns about who has their data include thieves who know where they live (12 per cent), government agencies and foreign entities (10 per cent each), and telemarketers (4 per cent).

 

“We use apps because they fit a particular need, but most of us pay little attention to what we’re giving away in exchange,” said Ofer Tziperman, CEO of Anagog.

 

“Consumers are inured to simply accepting whatever permissions are asked for and continuing with the download, and it’s causing a data privacy crisis around the world that’s being recognised at all levels, including at Apple. The good news is that our survey shows more consumers are aware of this issue and more companies are starting to search for solutions that address it.”

 

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