A quarter of respondents had their data stolen with malicious intent. Dentsu said this proves brands must earn and maintain trust.

73% of Australians are fearful about data breaches within a company or brand, while 72% are concerned that organisations are selling their personal data to a third party, a Dentsu report has found.

Now in its fifth year, Dentsu’s Data Consciousness Project report, which surveyed 1,985 across Australia, examined how locals feel about businesses accessing and leveraging their personal data.

The research found a shift in attitude from when the report first began in 2018, when people felt open with their data, to now, when they feel protective and concerned with how businesses intend to use their data.

Fear was a prevalent feeling among Australians; almost two in five received a suspicious email or text requesting personal information, while a quarter had experienced their information held by a company being stolen with malicious intent.

For marketers, the report also found that 1 in 10 Australians switched brands because of a data breach, with 74% expecting swift action from brands to improve data privacy and security measures.

Christine McKinnon

Christine McKinnon, dentsu’s head of intelligence, noted that 409 data breaches occurred in the first half of 2023, two of which affected more than 1 million people and the other more than 10 million Australians.
“It is against this backdrop that Australians have become more concerned about how their data is being collected and how it is being used and are now expecting more from companies.”
McKinnon said that for marketers, the value exchange will be important moving forward because brands will have to prove they can be trusted to protect their consumers’ data and show the consumers they are receiving something in return for their data.
Looking ahead to the year ahead, McKinnon said consumers will begin to assert their right to withhold personal data and expect the same levels of service from a business.
“Data as a currency will be one of the top opportunities, and challenges, for businesses this year.”

Originally published on Mediaweek 26th March 2024


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