Most Indians Ready To Trade Privacy For Online Convenience

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jun 20, 2014


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

While the survey notes a global paradox in people’s behaviour and their stated wants and beliefs, the India-specific research reveals some interesting insights, with 61% Indians saying they are willing to trade privacy for convenience, yet at the same time 51% believe they have less privacy now than a year ago, while 59% expect privacy to decline in the next five years.

Gender-wise, Indian men seem to be going all out in sharing personal information with the world and appear to be more willing than women to trade privacy for convenience, where 59% women say they are unwilling to do so, as against only 43% men.

The study also reveals that 64% of Indians have suffered a data breach, but 41% don’t change passwords regularly. More than one-fifth do not have a password protection on mobile and an equal number do not read privacy statements. The report also says 66% of Indians as compared to 38% globally are more likely to share information with government institutions. Besides, 70% of Indians, as against an average of 50% globally, are willing to share data with government bodies.

In terms of social media engagement, 84% respondents say they do not like anyone knowing anything about them or their habits on social media unless they make a decision themselves to share that information. But then, they freely share large quantities of personal data despite knowing their privacy on social media will be difficult to maintain in the next five years and express a lack of confidence in those institutions that protect them.

These are some of the worrying signs and experts believe India is only waking up to the concept of privacy. Currently, India doesn’t have any specific privacy law, but industry experts argue that India does have protection, while not outlining clearly what that protection involves. However, they remain optimistic about the future of privacy in India and maintain that to establish a strong privacy regime in the country policy makers, industry and citizens need to collectively work together to achieve a coherent framework.

EMC recommends that it is not advisable to use employer-owned devices or networks for personal business, log out of apps when not in use, use multi-factor authentication for email and other online accounts and change passwords frequently, in order to minimize certain nuances.