Sharing Personal Information Digitally: Almost Half of the Global Population is Concerned

WIN International, the world’s leading association in market research and polling which BVA Doxa is part of, has published the Annual WIN World Survey (WWS – 2020) exploring the views and beliefs of 26,433 individuals among citizens from 34 countries across the globe about the privacy of digital information. Almost half of the world’s population says they are concerned about sharing personal information online, and a third admits they don’t know what use is made of it when it is shared. The opinions of Italian citizens, polled by BVA Doxa, are in line with the world average: 43% are worried about having to share personal data online and 32% admit that they do not know how it is being used.

SHARING PERSONAL INFORMATION DIGITALLY – Overall, 45% [1] of the world’s population is concerned about the digital sharing of their personal information, a percentage that is only two points down from last year. Among women, the percentage drops from 49% to 47% and among men from 46% to 43%. More than half of the people on the American continent (54%) feel concerned about the digital sharing of their information, and in fact two of the countries with the highest levels of concern are in Latin America: people in Brazil (72%) and in Chile (61%) are the most concerned about digital sharing of their information, while Pakistan (30%), Nigeria and the Palestinian Territories (28% each) are the countries with the lowest levels of concern. In reality, the share of those who are “worried” remains significant in other areas of the world as well: 45% in the Asia and Pacific region and 43% in Europe. As for Italy, in line with European results, 43% of our compatriots are worried, while 10% are not worried at all.

THE NEED TO SHARE PERSONAL INFORMATION ONLINE – For 22% of the world population, sharing data today is a necessity, a stable percentage compared to last year (2019: 22%); on the other hand, however, 30% of respondents do not consider it necessary, with a growth of + 3% points compared to 2019. Looking closely at the different occupational categories, the share of students who believe that sharing of personal information is necessary (19%) drops by 6 points compared to 2019. Europeans seem to find it necessary to share personal data slightly more than the measurement of ‘previous year (from 17% to 19%): in Italy 21% agree that data sharing is necessary, unlike France (8%) which, together with South Korea (10 %) and Peru (9%), is among the countries where people are least in agreement with the statement.

DATA COLLECTORS AND PRIVACY – Almost a third of the population surveyed disagrees with the privacy practices adopted by most data collectors, and people aged 55 and over are the ones who disagree the most. In Argentina the disagreement is even higher: almost half of Argentines (46%) disagree with the privacy practices of most data collectors. In Europe, 25% disagree with privacy practices, a percentage that drops to 15% in Italy.

WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR PERSONAL INFORMATION ONCE THE DATA IS ONLINE? – In addition to the concerns of citizens regarding privacy and data, the survey wanted to investigate how aware people are of what happens once the data is shared: almost a third of the population (27%) admit that they know what happens with their data, but another 27% don’t know how it will be used or where. People who are less aware of how their data is being used are 3% more than last year. Among geographic regions, 30% of people in Asia Pacific said they know what happens with their personal data after it was shared, + 3% points compared to 2019, with the exception of Japan and South Korea where respectively only 12% and 4% say they are aware of it. Referring to our country, 32% claim to know the use made of their data, therefore a higher percentage than the European average which stands at 23%.

VILMA SCARPINO, CEO BVA DOXA AND PRESIDENT WIN INTERNATIONAL, SAYS – “The WIN World Survey highlights important trends and attitudes towards the use of personal information in the digital world. A significant share of the population is concerned about the privacy of their data and fewer people than last year feel it is necessary to share it online. However, what stands out most is that nearly a third of the world’s population is unaware of the use that data collectors make of personal information. It becomes clear how transparency can play an important role in improving people’s awareness first, but also trust and security. A more informed and aware user becomes a loyal customer more easily “.

[1] The percentages take into account the marks 8,9,10 expressed on a scale of values ​​from 1 to 10. For the “not worried” the percentages take into account the marks 1,2,3 on a scale of values ​​from 1 to 10.



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