Dentsu assessed the level of trust to companies in data privacy matters

The communication group Dentsu Aegis Network presented the results of the second part of the annual global study of the digital economy and its impact on society Digital Society Index 2020. Experts have found out how people around the world relate to the use of personal data and assess the level of their vulnerability in the digital environment. The survey was conducted in March-April 2020 among 32 thousand people in 22 countries, including Russia.

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The results of the first part of the Digital Society Index 2020 published earlier showed that people began to interact more actively with technologies because of COVID-19, and the pandemic accelerated the digital revolution. However, the growth of online activity has also led to an increase of the digital footprint of a person. Do users feel more vulnerable?

The conclusion of Digital Society Index 2020 are paradoxical: people are not sure about the fair use of their personal data, but they are increasingly sharing it, using digital services more and more actively.

Less than half of respondents worldwide (and only 19% in Russia – the lowest figure on the surveyed markets) believe that companies protect the privacy of their personal data. 8 out of 10 consumers, both globally and in Russia, are ready to refuse the company's services if they find out that their personal data has been used unethically.

Most users don't want to share their personal data but they do it anyway (often without realizing it). Only a small number of people believe that it is acceptable for business to use a wide variety of personal data to improve their products and services. At the same time, 45% in the world and 44% in Russia agree that even the most basic information, such as an email address, can be used. 21% of consumers globally are ready to share data about viewed Internet pages and 17% are ready to share information from social network profiles.

Russians are more open in providing access to browser history (25%). At the same time, they consider social networks as a more private space – only 13% want to give this data to third-party organizations.

People demand that companies ask them for permission to use their personal data, but they hardly read the user agreements. Two-thirds of respondents worldwide (58% in Russia) believe it is important that organizations receive a consent to use personal data to support research and socially significant developments.

Consumers expect personalization in products and services, but they are more cautious about personalized advertising. Over the past year, a third of respondents worldwide and in Russia refused to receive personalized ads. A quarter of respondents on global level (33% in our country) said that they installed an ad blocker.

Today, users want to regain digital control but believe that in the future the benefits of digital services are likely to outweigh the possible risks.

As the use of digital products increases, for example, for work and health diagnostics, the volume of personal data will continue to increase, the concerns about the rights and opportunities to protect them will increase.

Despite the fact that consumers are concerned about the ethical side of using new technologies (for example, facial recognition), almost half of respondents in the world (52% in Russia) are ready to pay for products and services using Face-ID or Touch-ID systems.

"The pandemic and quarantine measures have turned the world towards digital. This has caused more attention to the fair use of personal data. The desire for digital control as a response to potential vulnerabilities will only grow. The more we use technology to monitor our health, work, stay in touch with our loved ones and have fun, the faster the volume of personal data sharing will grow. However, we remain optimistic: despite the general level of concern, consumers appreciate the role and contribution of technology in improving the quality of life and solving social problems," - said Natalia Kuzmina, director of product development at Research and development (R&D).

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