Fear of Data Misuse Stronger Since COVID-19 Outbreak

Avatar for Katerina Kadlecova
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According to vpndiensten.nl, 64% of the Dutch suspect that apps or third-party services misuse their personal data. Similar numbers have emerged from other research on the topic, as privacy and various regulations designed to protect it has been a hot topic for many years. However, privacy concerns have increased because of the increased use of the internet due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research showed that male users over 60 are most likely to be scared of their data being misused (74%). On average, men are also more likely to ask an app developer to remove their data from their database. In particular, younger men under 40 are the most likely to do so (31%). In contrast, the least likely group to reach out to the app developer are women over 60 years (3%). On the other hand, young men until 30 years are most likely to trade their privacy for (financial) app benefits. Across all age categories, men are more likely to make this tradeoff than women.

However, in spite of the high percentage of users worried about their data, only 11% claim to read privacy statements and only a small fraction of that actually understands them. Users tend to rely on the service provider’s reputation as a guarantee that their data will not be misused.

Influence of data misuse fears on e-commerce

Users’ fear of data misuse can have an influence on the success of e-commerce businesses. 22% of customers are willing to spend more in order to buy from brands or websites that they trust. Furthermore, 20% are more willing to share their information with brands that they favor. Finally, 40% indicated that they do not like being asked for unnecessary data.

In fact, data privacy is of such importance in today’s climate that just promising to not misuse data is no longer enough, and brands need to show that they’re behaving ethically and that they are using customer data responsibly. Therefore, improving digital experiences and ecommerce platforms so that they are transparent and act with customer care in mind is imperative to improving brand power and showcasing trust.

Angel Maldonado, CEO at Empathy.co

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Avatar for Katerina Kadlecova

Online Marketing Coordinator at Icecat N.V.

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