Deloitte releases its 2022 Australia Privacy Index titled Every Breath You take

June 28, 2022 |

Deloitte Australia has released it 2022 Privacy Index, this year titled Every Breath You Take.  It is a very useful survey, focusing especially on APP 5. The results are sobering.  While some industries perform better than other generally there is a compliance problem. 

The web article provides:

In this year’s Index, we explore how transparency can increase consumers’ willingness to share data, the uses of online information and location data consumers are uncomfortable with and what value, if any, consumers place on personalisation. This is compared with the practices of leading consumer brands in the Australian market to determine whether brands are meeting these consumer expectations around their personal information.

The amount of information created and copied globally continues to grow and is forecast to increase for many years to come. The COVID-19 pandemic expedited this growth as we moved to learning, working, and entertaining from home. Unfortunately, accompanying this growth has been an increase in associated ‘creepy’ uses of information. Through the rise of online behavioural monitoring, brands now have access to even more data about their customers. They can act on this information through the personalisation of offers, online experiences and use of advertising tools provided by the likes of big technology corporations and social media.

As a result, in this Index we found that:

    • Greater transparency from brands about the use of information increased consumer’s willingness to share their personal information.
    • Majority of brands appear to conduct some form of online tracking and monitoring even though the majority of consumers are uncomfortable with this.
    • A significant proportion of consumers can see value in personalisation but only a limited number are happy with the personalisation experiences they receive.

Our results indicate the importance consumers are placing on transparency as a
foundational element of being comfortable sharing their personal information with organisations.

How does your industry rank?

Overall index
The media release provides:

Australian consumers remain wary of online surveillance in their digital interactions with brands – their demands for greater transparency, and control over use of their personal information, and what is being personalised to them online, is greater than ever.

The 2022 edition of the Deloitte Australian Privacy Index finds that providing transparency, assurance and control can go some way to alleviating consumers’ concerns.

Key results from Deloitte’s eighth annual assessment of consumer views on privacy, and the privacy practices of leading Australian consumer brands, include:

    • Transparency and sharing of information
      • Only 43% of consumers are happy to share their personal information (even when aware of how their data will be used)
      • Only 2% of brands are disclosing potential data sharing, online tracking, or other specific uses of data during the customer experience at sign-up, outside of the privacy policy.
    • Online surveillance and location data
      • 74% of consumers think companies they interact with online collect browsing information about their online activities – and 83% of brands appear to conduct online tracking and monitoring activities (as disclosed within their privacy policies)
      • 51% are uncomfortable with their online activity being tracked – and 82% are unhappy with their location data being shared with other companies
    • Personalised online experiences
      • 80% of consumers see value in online personalisation, but only 30% are happy with their current personalisation experiences
      • Only younger consumers (aged 18-34) see value in online personalisation – those aged 35+ see it, in the absence of transparency, as going too far
      • Over 54% of brands offer no tangible incentive to consumers in exchange for creating an account, beyond access to services.

Deloitte National Privacy and Data Protection Lead Partner, Daniella Kafouris, said “Consumers have gone about surviving the last two years defined by COVID, but they’ve shared more personal data than ever before – with governments and businesses – in exchange for various freedoms and access to products and services.

“Working, learning, buying and even entertaining from home and online has significantly shifted the dial in positive and perhaps not-so-positive ways – from consumers benefiting from greater personalisation in their digital experiences, to genuine concerns about how their data is used.

“What is clear is that a disconnect remains between consumer expectations and how brands collect and use personal data. As a result, there needs to be a better balance between consumers finding personalisation helpful and what could be considered over-reaching.

“Many can see value in profiling and personalisation delivered by tracking and advertising technologies, but it’s also not for everyone. Generally, people under 35 see more value in tailored advertising and services compared to those over 35. As we looked through older age brackets, we found that increasingly more consumers perceive personalised experiences as crossing what we call a ‘creepy line’ that hinders the customer experience and, by extension, a brand’s ability to build trust and engage with them.

“Brands certainly need to take their customers on a transparency journey throughout the customer experience, rather than relying on legal documents like their privacy policy, to builds trust before things get ‘creepy’ and, ultimately, counter-productive and even damaging.”

The report outlines five key actions brands can take to improve their performance across data, transparency and personalisation:

    1. Increase transparency – Provide transparent disclosures about the way personal information is used throughout the customer journey, beyond the privacy policy and collection statements, to improve consumer trust.
    2. Be consistent – Use consistent language to describe online tracking and monitoring activities and clearly de?ne this across industries, to avoid consumer confusion. Consumers want a personalised experience, not a creepy one.
    3. Set privacy as the default – Consumers have shown us that they are unlikely to actively make changes to their setting yet are unhappy with their location information being used and shared. Default settings involving the collection and use of location information should protect the privacy of the individual.
    4. Empower consumers – Optimise preference centres to enable consumers to provide their preferences for personalisation directly, establishing a connection between the personalisation they receive and the personal information they have shared to reduce the creepy factor.
    5. Communicate privacy protections – Consumers told us that the security of their personal information is the leading factor when considering sharing that information with a brand.

Some other findings include:

  •  only 63% provide some form of an APP 5 privacy notice for consumers with  49% that providing consumers with a link to the notice without any additional context about the way the brand collects and handles personal information.  11% provide a link with some additional context and only 3% that display the notice fully on screen.
  • regarding consumer attitudes towards data sharing since the Covid-19 pandemic , over half of consumer perceptions towards information sharing with brands, Government agencies and Health-care providers remain unchanged as they have always been cautious about sharing information.  The remaining consumers who have experienced a change in attitude towards information sharing, are less willing to share information with brands, but more willing to share this information with Government agencies and Health-care
  • a significant portion of consumers (from 29% to 73%) suspect brands are collecting browsing information, across all the different types that may be collected.
  • 56% of consumers believe the collection it is for email marketing and to increase sales while 51% think it is for analytics and reporting, and  51% believe their information is being sold to other brands.  The general perception held by consumers is that these activities are taking place with or without their knowledge.
  • only 28% of consumers think their information is collected for the purpose of website personalisation and
    32% believe it is for improving the quality of the brand’s offering. 
  • there is inconsistent vocabulary used by brands to communicate online tracking and monitoring activities to consumers, with 12 different terms used. Brands  often use positive language to frame these activities as being advantageous to consumers,
  • 38% of consumers are unlikely to share their location with an online service
  • over 60% of brands do not mention data deletion and account closure within their privacy policy, privacy notice and terms and conditions, and 39% neglect to include information about their data retention policies.

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