Survey: Consumers want digital benefits, won’t trade privacy

Hopkinton, Mass. — Global consumers want the benefits of digital technology but don’t want to trade any of their privacy to obtain it. According to the EMC Privacy Index, a survey of 15,000 consumers in 15 countries by EMC, 91% of consumers value the benefit of "easier access to information and knowledge" that digital technology affords.

However, only 27% say they are willing to trade some privacy for greater convenience and ease online. Consumers are also pessimistic about the prospects for maintaining their digital privacy. Only 41% believe government is committed to protecting their privacy, and 81% expect privacy to erode over the next five years; 59% say they have less privacy than a year ago.

In addition, respondents older than the age of 55 across a sampling of countries say they are less willing to trade privacy for convenience and desire more control over their personal data.

“The unprecedented potential of cloud and Big Data to drive commerce and societal advancement rests on a foundation of trust,” said Jeremy Burton, president, products and marketing, EMC Information Infrastructure. “Individuals need to know that their data not only is secure, but that its privacy is protected. The Privacy Index reveals a global divergence of views around these critical issues of our time, and a warning call that responsibility for transparency, fairness, safe online behavior and trustworthy use of personal data must be shared by business, governments and individuals alike."


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