Australian online retailers among the least trusted when it comes to personal data privacy

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Despite the boom in online shopping during the pandemic, online retailers remain among Australia’s least trusted businesses when it comes to personal data privacy and information sharing, according to a new report from Deloitte.

As privacy awareness rises, the comfort of trusting online retailers with personal data in Australia is at 4.2 out of 10, tied with trust in the general IT industry, according to the Index of Deloitte Australian privacy 2022 – surveying 1,000 Australian consumers over the age of 18 Only estate agents scored lower, with a trust score of 4.1 out of 10.

Around three-quarters (74%) of Australian consumers believe the companies they interact with online collect browsing information about their online activities. Half (51%) are not comfortable with tracking their online activity, while 82% are unhappy with sharing their location data with other companies.

Their fears are not unfounded, with 83% of brands appearing to conduct online tracking and surveillance activities (as outlined in their privacy policies). Despite this, only 2% of brands disclose this outside of the privacy policy – ​​such as potential data sharing, online tracking or other specific data uses.

“What’s clear is that there remains a disconnect between consumer expectations and how brands collect and use personal data,” says Daniella Kafouris, Deloitte’s national senior privacy and protection partner. Datas.

“As a result, there needs to be a better balance between consumers who find personalization useful and what might be considered excessive.”

Improve trust in the privacy of personal data

Despite their concerns, Australian consumers are increasingly comfortable with the concept of sharing personal data in exchange for improved service or other benefits. Almost half of consumers (43%) are happy to share their personal information, even if they are aware of how it will be used in terms of personal data privacy.

While 80% of consumers see the value of personalization online, only 30% are satisfied with their current personalization experiences. More than 54% of brands offer no tangible incentive to consumers – beyond access to services – in exchange for creating an account and disclosing personal data.

Only younger consumers between the ages of 18 and 34 see the value of personalization online, while those aged 35 and over see it, in the absence of transparency, as going too far.

“Working, learning, shopping and even playing from home and online has dramatically changed the dial in positive and maybe not so positive ways – from consumers enjoying greater personalization in their digital experiences, to genuine concerns about how their data is used,” says Kafouris.

“Brands certainly need to take their customers on a journey of transparency throughout the customer experience, rather than relying on legal documents like their privacy policy, to build trust before things get ‘scary. “and ultimately counterproductive and even detrimental.”

To improve a company’s perception of privacy, Deloitte offers five key recommendations for empowering consumers and building trust. Companies should provide transparent information, use consistent language to describe their business, set privacy by default, allow consumers to set personalization preferences, and communicate privacy protections upfront.

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