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How do consumers feel about the use of their personal data by companies? (II)

Research carried out by research agency Loudhouse for Orange shows that European consumers are uncomfortable with the amount of personal data that service providers hold, and worry about “hidden harvesting”:

• 82 per cent of consumers are concerned that companies find more ways to gather data without being completely clear about the methods and reasons for it, which is described as hidden harvesting.

• 78 per cent of smartphone owners are convinced that even everyday mobile internet usage means personal information is being gathered beyond their control.
• 38 per cent of respondents state they are generally happy with how their data is used to target them with
goods and services.

• 46 per cent have personal experience of a company taking advantage of their data to use it for something not pre-agreed.

Therefore, before distrust and resistance sets in and, ultimately, usage is reduced, companies need to be clear on how they use that data. In addition, more education is needed to make consumers aware of what they are giving consent to – such as contacts, images, messages and location information – and to put them in control of their personal data.