Personal data: what consumers tolerate, what scares them

by bold-lichterman

More than half (55%) of consumers have already given up on an online purchase due to a lack of protection of their personal data, according to the results of the study “Crossing the Line»Produced by KPMG. Almost one in two people have no problem sharing information about their level of education, or their origin with brands. On the other hand, they are more reluctant (less than 20%) to agree to share their Internet search history, or even their geolocation.

Where is the line between what people are willing to share, and the data they consider sensitive? This is the question the consulting firm wanted to answer. For the purposes of its study, KPMG interviewed nearly 7,000 people from 24 countries.

Social networks arouse fear

First observation, some data are unanimously considered sensitive by consumers. Included in this category are their income level, 80% address and medical records, and 75% purchase history. Two-thirds of respondents also say they are uncomfortable with the idea of ​​sharing data via their smartphone and tablet.

Another observation is that in terms of privacy protection, some companies naturally inspire confidence. Banks (41%), health establishments (39%) and law enforcement (36%) are in this situation. Social networks are the leading companies that arouse the most mistrust, with 87% of respondents saying they do not trust them. They are followed by retailers (86%) and gaming companies (also 86%).

Television, insurance … what they can share

Although some data is unanimously considered sensitive, the use made of it in-fine changes consumer perception, the report points out.

78% of them consider personalized billboards as too intrusive. 54%, on the other hand, are ready to share information about what they watch on television in return for commercial discounts. Similarly, 45% of respondents are ready to share their driving data with their insurer, in return for pricing adapted to their driving. It is also towards this fair distribution of the value created thanks to personal data between brands and consumers that the study is oriented.


The perception of invasion of privacy also varies by country. While 78% of Indians find it convenient that a taxi company can geolocate them, an equivalent proportion of Danes find it too intrusive. As another example, only 40% of Chinese find custom billboards too intrusive, while 88% of Japanese share this view.

Failing to be offered a fair distribution of the value created thanks to their data, half of the respondents declare that they regularly delete their connection history, and a third of them use private browsing. 25% go so far as to use encryption to protect their privacy.


** Methodology: study carried out on 7,000 people from 24 different countries.

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