India Favors Convenience Over PrivacyNew Global Study Gauges Consumers' Online Attitudes
A global study conducted by data storage firm EMC to identify privacy attitudes worldwide found consumers in India are more willing to sacrifice privacy for online convenience than those in other nations.
The EMC Privacy Index polled 15,000 consumers from 15 countries to explore how consumers view their online privacy rights and measure willingness to forgo some of the benefits and conveniences of the connected world for the assurances of privacy.
The results showed that 61 percent of Indian respondents say they are willing to sacrifice privacy for online convenience. Additionally, 77 percent of respondents in India say they are confident in organizations' abilities to protect their privacy and 73 percent are confident in organizations' ethics.
"India is a relative newcomer to the Internet world and everyone is lapping it up, and therefore there is greater willingness to share and trade information for better services from consumer and e-commerce sites," says Rajesh Janey, president for EMC's India division. "Another reason is the social fabric. Indians are used to living in joint families and in neighborhoods where the neighbors [are] part of the extended family. So there is a great comfort in sharing information in and around us."
Other key findings for participants in India include:
- 64 percent have suffered a data breach, yet many say they are not taking measures to protect themselves;
- 78 percent listed businesses using, selling or trading personal data for financial gain as a top risk to the future of privacy;
- 64 percent claimed a high degree of confidence in the government in working to protect their privacy.
According to the study, Germany was the country least willing to sacrifice their privacy for better online services.
Internet Privacy Study
The global study found that consumers worldwide want the conveniences and benefits of digital technology, yet they are unwilling to sacrifice privacy to get them. Additionally, while privacy risks directly impact many consumers, most say they take virtually no special action to protect their privacy, instead placing the onus on those handling their information such as government and businesses.
"For consumers, [the study] reinforces the need to increase their awareness of privacy issues and to take personal action to protect their own privacy," EMC says. "For businesses, the imperative is to understand the range of customer perception. Winners and losers will be determined by those businesses that demonstrate the most relevant and practical privacy practices for their customers. The more evident it is that a business is committed to privacy protection, the more likely it will attract and increase levels of consumer engagement."