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Consumers trust private firms more than government with personal data, says KPMG report

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Consumers in the country trust private companies more than the government when it comes to sharing their personal data, according to a KPMG survey. Technology companies and the banking sector are the most trusted (75 per cent each) entities in the country, followed by wealth management firms (62 per cent) and power and utility firms (62 per cent). The government, at 51 per cent, was the least trusted entity for consumers, as per the survey, which took into account responses from 3,000 people in the country.

However, in terms of global average of consumers trust in government (37 per cent), India fared much better.

“Lack of faith in governments reflects the consequences of years, if not generations, of political infighting, constitutional crises and changing political landscapes,” the KPMG survey ‘Me, My life, my wallet’ said. The survey comes at a time when the Supreme Court has barred private entities like telecom companies, banks and payment service providers from demanding Aadhaar data from customers, citing risks to their privacy and security.

Almost 87 per cent of the consumers in India are willing to trade their personal data to a company for better customer experience and personalisation, better products and services and better security, the highest in the world, according to the survey. Globally, almost 24 per cent of consumers said they would not trade their data, which falls to 13 per cent in the country.

The survey found that people would trade their personal data to a company for better customer experience and personalisation (26 per cent), better products and services (24 per cent) and better security (21 per cent). Consumers in India are more trusting with their social media data than consumers in other markets, as globally 37 per cent of consumers don’t trust anyone with their social media data, in India it is 13 per cent.

Similarly, globally, 31 per cent of consumers don’t trust anyone with their mobile data, while in India it is 10 per cent. The survey, however, also noted that 47 per cent of consumers are very anxious about unauthorised tracking of their online habits by companies, governments or criminals.

Globally, 51 per cent of consumers are anxious about identity theft, while in India it is 52 per cent. It also noted that 55 per cent of the respondents would rather lose their wallet than their phone.

Consumers are anxious, with younger generations feeling it the most, KPMG India partner and head consumer markets Harsha Razdan said, adding they like new technology but are concerned about handing over personal data, and what that could mean for their privacy and security.

“Our research demonstrates that organisations should be aware of the heightened awareness people have about the value of their data; they want to feel that they are in control at every stage of the business relationship,” he said.

The survey of around 25,000 consumers in eight countries, including around 3,000 in India, asked respondents their overall level of trust in 12 common industries, specifically whether they trusted employees, felt firms cared about them and trusted them with their data.

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