Consumers “don’t care about privacy”, survey finds

Almost two thirds’ of consumers aged between 18 and 34 “don’t care about privacy”, with 59 per cent of those aged between 35 and 44  equally unconcerned, according to a report published today.

Research firm Coleman Parks conducted a survey of 3,900 consumers across 13 countries on behalf of BSS/OSS vendor Amdocs with a view to discovering how consumers feel about privacy. The survey revealed that consumers in developing markets care less about their personal data; on average around 80 per cent of consumers in the Philippines and Thailand claimed they do not care about their personal data, while consumers in Western Europe, the US and Russia were, in general, more concerned.

The research also found that 57 per cent of consumers are willing to share additional personal information, such as their location, their top five Facebook friends’ names and information about family members, in return for financial rewards or better service.

61 per cent of consumers would exchange personal data for improved network speed, while 65 per cent would do so for better pricing plans.54 per cent would even allow this data to be passed on to a third party, under the right conditions.

Although the findings have only just been published, the survey was conducted in April 2013; shortly before reports surfaced that the US National Security Agency has been collecting the call data of Verizon customers and has direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet firms.

“I don’t know whether the results would change if we were to conduct the research again now,” said Alastair Hanlon, head of market insight and strategy. “The reason people were so upset is because they did not know it was happening. Our research shows that if people know their data is being collected by operators, they are comfortable with it.”

Hanlon added that customer data has potential to become a new “industry currency”.

“This new economy is driven by big data and can result in new revenue streams and improved ARPU for operators as well as a better customer experience.”

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