Saturday, August 13, 2022

Nine in ten Aussies don’t understand use of personal data

More than 90 per cent of Australians “lack understanding” of how leading apps use their personal data, according to new research.

The ‘Privacy Report’ by Roy Morgan explores Australians’ attitudes towards privacy in the online world. It shows that while Australians are concerned about how their personal data is used, they lack understanding of how different apps use their data.

More than 90 per cent say they’re either “not sure” or only “somewhat understand” how several leading apps use and/or share their data.

A staggering 94.6 per cent of Australians using Apple apps are either “not sure” or only “somewhat understand” how Apple uses or shares their personal data – higher than for any other brand in the survey.

Following closely behind are leading social networks including Twitter (94.3 per cent of Twitter users), Instagram (94 per cent), Snapchat (93.7 per cent), Messenger (92.8 per cent), Google (91.9 per cent) and Facebook (90.9 per cent)

Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said, “The issue of data privacy online has been running hot for some time now since it was revealed British data-analytics firm Cambridge Analytica had ‘harvested’ tens of millions of Facebook users’ accounts to precisely target advertising to help elect US President Donald Trump.

“However, despite the concerns raised about the potential misuse of personal data – whether financial, medical, location data, purchase/transaction data, browsing histories, political preferences, sexual orientation, phone contacts, personal photos or other personally identifiable information – only a tiny minority of Australians (between five and 10 per cent) believe they ‘fully understand’ how companies such as Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Google ‘use and/or share their personal data.

“Roy Morgan’s latest survey … reveals social-media companies have a poor image in Australia, with 47 per cent of Australians distrustful of (them), whereas retail companies, charities and travel companies perform well as the top sectors on Net Trust Scores.”

To produce this survey, Roy Morgan interviewed a representative sample of 967 people drawn from its single-source panel of more than 600,000 Australians.

The question put to survey participants was: “You mentioned earlier that you have used these services in the past 12 months. Please indicate your understanding of how they use your data: ‘I’m not sure how they use and/or share my data’, ‘I somewhat understand how they use and/or share my data’, ‘I believe I full understand how they use and/or share my data’.”

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