EMC survey: Indians most willing to trade privacy for online convenience

Indians are more likely to trade personal information like address and consumption habits compared to their global counterparts for online convenience, a study by EMC said.

According to the global study, 61 per cent of respondents from India said they were willing to trade privacy for greater online convenience.

Respondents from Middle East and China/hong Kong (54 percent) followed in the list, while those in Germany emerged as the least willing (36 percent).

The study tapped into privacy attitudes of 15,000 consumers from 15 countries including India, Brazil, Italy, Japan, the US, Netherlands and Canada among others.

It explores how consumers worldwide view their online privacy rights and measures willingness to forfeit the benefits and conveniences of the connected world for the assurances of privacy.

Interestingly, Indian men appeared more willing (57 percent) to trade privacy for convenience over women (41 percent).

“India is a relative new comer to the Internet world and everyone is lapping it up, and therefore there is greater willingness to share and trade information for better services from consumer and e-commerce sites,” said EMC President India and SAARC Rajesh Janey.

Another reason is the social fabric since Indians are used to living in joint families and neighbours are a part of the extended family and so there is greater comfort in sharing information in and around us.

“There is also this ‘We Want it All’ paradox as consumers want all conveniences and benefits of digital technology and yet are unwilling to trade privacy to get them. When it comes to sharing personal details for greater online convenience, Indians are more willing compared to other countries,” he said.

However, what is worrying is the fact that despite knowing the risks, many respondents said they take virtually no special action to protect their privacy, instead placing the onus on those handling their information like government and businesses.

The report found that respondents from India, which has the second largest number of Facebook users globally, said they freely share large quantities of personal data despite expressing a lack of confidence and trust in those institutions to protect that information.

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