Recent reports highlight the increasing value consumers place on their data and privacy rights. This trend puts further pressure on governments to establish appropriate privacy legislation and organizations to implement responsible data practices.

Worldwide Attitudes to Privacy

On August 8, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) published the latest Australian Community Attitudes to Privacy Survey (ACAPS). Last performed in 2020, the report investigates consumer attitudes toward privacy in general, privacy practices of organizations and Australian privacy legislation. With almost half (47%) of the population reporting that they had been victims of a data breach in the last 12 months, it’s no surprise that Australians’ awareness of and interest in privacy issues has increased.

Most Australians feel, however, that they have little choice when it comes to handing over their data to organizations to access services and that many that organizations collect more data than they need.

Less than half believe that organizations adequately protect their information (46%), use it only for stated purposes (42%), collect only what is needed (42%), comply with rights to access (41%) and delete information when it’s no longer needed (30%).

Global attitudes broadly agree with the findings of the ACAPS. In their 2022 report, Global data privacy: What the consumer really thinks, the GDMA found that:

  • 71% of individuals are concerned about their online privacy
  • 77% agree that transparency of how data is collected and used is important when deciding whether to purchase a product or use a service
  • Increasingly, consumers expect brands and organizations to be responsible for the security of their data with 77% being influenced by media reports of data breaches

As in Australia (84%), most consumers globally (82%) would like more control over the data they give to companies.

Privacy as a Business Opportunity

As consumers become more aware of privacy issues and are concerned about their own data privacy and security, trust becomes a higher priority when engaging with a company.

In Australia, data privacy was the third most important factor (after quality and price) in choosing a product or service. This opinion was echoed in the GDMA report, which found that trust was the most important factor in consumer willingness to share personal information.

Considering this, data practices that respect consumer privacy and uphold their privacy rights present a potential opportunity for organizations. While over 135 countries have enacted privacy laws, many organizations fail to deliver on their obligations to consumers.

Understanding the consumer personal information they hold is a crucial first step for organizations looking to improve their data practices and better protect consumer privacy. With this information, they can evaluate and refine current data processing to better align with consumers expectations for data privacy and security.

Any investment in improved data security and privacy is an investment in future business, ensuring the consumer trust behind many customers’ buying decisions.

Want to keep up with all our blog posts? Subscribe to our newsletter!