April 20, 2016

People trust regulations to keep their private information safe

Lotta Ahonen

Interaction Designer, Tieto

With whom people are willing to share their personal information? 

I conducted a small survey about with whom people are willing to share their personal information to find the "creepy line" - the point when people feel that their privacy is becoming endangered when handling personal data. I was also curious to know the reasons behind their choices, what they would actually share and if they trusted on their own skills and competences when it comes to keeping personal information safe. It is part of my research project about privacy experience but also a topical subject to many of our customers. 

3 most trusted stakeholders

Not so surprisingly the most trusted companies were from healthcare, banks and government industries, with Google and social media being the least trusted. More surprising for me were the reasons why people had chosen to trust these entities. It seems that they are chosen based on the image that these branches and entities are heavily regulated. It was also stated that people trust entities such as banks and insurance companies because they would be in deep trouble and harm their business if they misused or leaked private personal data. Regulations seem to create an atmosphere of security and trust.

“Banks would end up in huge problems if they would get caught leaking private data.”

People seemed to be more concerned about entities leaking their information to third-parties than on first-hand misuse. People seem to be comfortable with sharing their information as long as it stays with that entity and creates value for the individual or the society. The same people seem to think that sharing personal information and proper use of it will make their lives easier while others see that giving away information will only make their lives more complicated.

“I think sharing my personal information with these will bring either personal or general benefit.”

These results seem to go along with some previous surveys that have been made about this subject. It seems that in general banks are seen as very trustworthy whereas social media is the least trusted.

What information people were ready to share was very divided. Some were not ready to share anything but many were ready to share quite much data under certain conditions. The general feeling was that the closer and personal the information recipients are, like family and friends, the more information they would be ready to share.

“Any relevant data that is needed to get better service IF the service provider (private companies) can guarantee that my data is removed when I stop using the service.”

Interestingly over half of the participants considered themselves capable of keeping their personal information safe. I should have also asked what they do to keep their personal information safe. Previous studies have shown that peoples’ words and actions contradict on this matter quite a lot.

Companies today knows how to collect data but how can they leverage it to avoid bad customer experiences and design for trust? That is one of the most topical questions in businesses driving for digitalization and better customer experience. Tieto gathered together earlier some thought leaders to discuss about it. Here you can find their viewpoints: Smart data and the creepy line.

Find more about Customer Experience Management here and feel free to follow my research project here. Download also the fresh research made in retail sector: Tieto Retail Outlook No. 2. digitization and integrity - In search of the balance between cool and creepy.

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