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Trading personal data for deals has its limits

Craig Butt (via SMH) | June 27, 2013
Digitally savvy Australians are willing to trade personal data for better shopping deals and banking security, but draw a line at releasing certain information, a survey has found.

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Digitally savvy Australians are willing to trade personal data for better shopping deals and banking security, but draw a line at giving away certain information, a survey has found.

The survey, which was commissioned by business consulting and IT company Infosys, gauged attitudes towards data-sharing in the retail, banking and healthcare fields.

Just over half of Australians surveyed said they would be willing to share their online behaviour with retailers in exchange for targeted promotions, with 83 per cent saying they would be willing to make return purchases at a retailer that offered targeted deals.

However, when it came to the information they were willing to provide to retailers, most stopped short of divulging anything more than their postcode (67 per cent) or email address (81 per cent). But 21 per cent said they would share their purchasing history and 14 per cent would share social media addresses.

A total of 5000 people in five countries were surveyed, including 1000 Australians, from a range of age groups, selected on the basis of their internet use and adoption of smartphone and tablet devices.

RMIT cyber security expert Mark Gregory said he was not surprised by the results. "Every time you start throwing something more into the mix in terms of what exactly you are giving away, you find that number slides," he said.

However, he said a lot of people were still quite willing to trade off certain information if they believed they would get a benefit from it.

Infosys retail client manager Sumit Madan said retailers needed to earn customers' trust before they would give up more information.

He said retailers should also make their data-use policy transparent. "The more transparent they are about the data-use policy, the more trust the customer will have, without getting the perception that the big corporate is acting like Big Brother," he said.

The survey also found that banks were more trusted with personal data than health care providers and retailers, with 88 per cent saying they would allow banks to mine their transaction data to detect any potential security breaches.

 

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