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Consumers fight back in data trust war

People are deliberately giving the wrong information due to mistrust over how it's used.


Growth plans are being ruined by consumers deliberately providing the wrong information when asked for personal details.

As consumers grow increasingly fed up with being asked for details, two thirds are now turning to deliberately giving incorrect information because they believe that the risks outweigh the benefits.

According to a study by GBG, this act of providing incorrect information could have a damaging impact on the global economy.

It was found that Germans are the most likely to lie, with 71% admitting to deliberately mislead, with Australians (57%) and the British (62%) also admitting to doing this.

18-24 year olds were found to be the worst offenders with 81% admitting to providing the wrong information, while 59% of over 65’s said that they don’t lie.

One of the main causes of this deception is that only 10% believe that they benefit from handing over personal information to a business and 73% are concerned that they will receive unsolicited contact from businesses as a result.

Another main concern is that many (83%) are worried that the information will be sold on to another organisation without their knowledge. Related to this, many (67%) don’t believe that brands are open enough and 94% want to know how their data will be used before they share it.

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Consumer concerns are not unfounded, with even businesses (47%) admitting to collecting data which is not used or useful.

Richard Law, GBG, CEO, said: "Data distrust is coming at a cost to businesses. Data is the fuel of the digital economy, and if there’s not enough or if it’s of poor quality, businesses will not survive. People have, quite rightly, placed a bounty on this information – whether it’s their name, location, items bought during the weekly shop, or even biometrics – because it’s their personal property. Businesses must treat it as such."

"If we’re to avoid another global economic crisis, there needs to be a shift in the way businesses collect and use our personal information. At all times, less is more and they should only ask for the information they need."

"The value exchange must be crystal clear and businesses need to be open and transparent about why they are asking for the information, how they’ll use it, and the value they’ll give back to the customer."

"For example, when registering to use a pub or restaurant’s WiFi, customers may intentionally submit false email or mobile data for fear of marketing spam; but what they haven’t factored in is that they will need to re-register every time they visit – rather than allow themselves to be ‘recognised’."

"And they’ll be excluded from any relevant discounts or special offers. So the experience is therefore one of hassle with repeated data collection and minimal value exchange. A different approach will transform this – bringing benefits to the consumer and to the business."

The survey was conducted among 1,246 adults (consumers) and 920 business decision makers in the UK, USA, Germany, France, Brazil and Australia. With the interviews being conducted online by RedShift Research in March 2015 via email invitation and online survey.

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