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Consumers lack confidence in handling of personal data: EMC

Consumers lack confidence in handling of personal data: EMC 

In a move that could help businesses make sense of it all, EMC released the findings from its Privacy Index this week. The company surveyed 15,000 consumers from 15 countries and discovered that, while the results vary greatly based on geography, only 27 per cent of respondents as a whole are willing to trade some privacy for greater convenience.

It also found that just 41 per cent of respondents believe their governments are adequately protecting their data.

Despite this, 91 per cent believe there is great value to emerging technologies—particularly when it comes to access to information.

“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.”

The study found that consumers tend to subscribe to three privacy “paradoxes”, namely: that consumers want the convenience technology affords them, but are unwilling to trade their privacy for it; that consumers take little action to protect their own data, instead leaving the burden of security on governments and businesses; and that consumers freely share their data on social media sites despite the value they claim to place on privacy.

For its part, Canada ranked 14th out of 15 on the index, meaning that Canadians are less likely than most other countries to freely give up their privacy. A mere 17 per cent of Canadian respondents said they would be willing to trade their privacy for convenience, and less than half said they have confidence in businesses’ ethics.

The survey also found that, overwhelmingly, Canadians do not have confidence in privacy: 64 per cent of respondents said they feel they have less privacy than they did a year ago, while a whopping 92 per cent said there should be laws to regulate how companies buy and sell data.

To see the complete findings of the survey, including Canadian statistics, please visit EMC’s website.

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