Consumer Trust and Privacy – Q&A with Mark Little

1. How would you describe the state of privacy and trust online today?

A recent consumer survey by GSMA intelligence shows privacy concerns to be growing. 70% of respondents are very or somewhat concerned with data privacy, with 48% saying there concerns are increasing, so from a consumer perspective their trust is in decline.

Net privacy concern differs greatly even amongst European countries under the same regulations; 66% in France, but only 27% in Italy for example.


2. If consumers don’t trust businesses, isn’t that a real problem for the digital economy?

Nearly half who already suffered a security breach failed to change a password, 72% failing to add a second layer of security and 69% failing to change their privacy settings.
In short, consumers do not appear to be acting on their concerns but we, as businesses, must still play a key role in securing their identity.


3. Why do think that is?

Several reasons appear to be driving the consumers apparently carefree attitude:
– According to our survey only 22% have actually been impacted by a security breach
– Only 18% think they should be responsible for the safety and integrity of their data in the first place.
– Privacy concerns and mistrust can be compensated for:
o Compelling content overcomes their risk aversion
o Cultural factors reflected in a low aversion to risk
o Brand loyalty
o Consumers’ perception they are being looked after by institutions
– In order to act on their privacy concerns consumers need privacy tools and ways to manage their data. These tools are still not currently mainstream, convenient or compelling to use.


4. So privacy and trust don’t matter after all?

No, trust matters a lot. In fact, it is a business’ need to trust their customer. That is one of the biggest drivers of the digital identity market. And actually, with the growing threat of identity theft and cybercrime, I believe it is only a matter of time before consumers start to see value in privacy tools that help them control and manage their data.