Ignorance and Distrust Prevail about What Companies and Governments Do with Personal Data

Ipsos and the World Economic Forum are launching a research program to track and decode public understanding and acceptance of new technologies across the globe

  • 1/3 global citizens know nothing or very little about how their personal information is used by companies and governments.
  • Citizens do not trust companies or governments to use their personal data in the right way. Trust is lowest for foreign governments (20%), and only a minority of citizens trust national government (39%).
  • 2/3 of consumers would be more comfortable sharing personal information with a company if it were clear about how it will use the data.

DAVOS/PARIS, 25 January 2019 – During the annual meeting in Davos, Ipsos and the World Economic Forum unveiled the first installment of a global tracking study on consumer acceptance of information technology. The report titled Global Citizens and Data Privacy highlights widespread lack of knowledge and low levels of trust around the usage of personal data by companies and governments.

The findings suggest that organizations can address fears from consumers by being transparent about what they do with their personal data, by offering guarantees of confidentiality, having a clean security record, or offering financial compensation.

The Global Citizens and Data Privacy survey was conducted in October and November 2018 among 18,813 adults from 26 countries on Ipsos’s Global Advisor online platform. Future waves of the global tracking study will be conducted and reported twice a year.

In the presentation below, you will find all data and details assessing that:

- World citizens are in the dark about how their personal information is used – most of all those from economically advanced countries

- Trust Is lacking – especially toward media companies and foreign governments

- Consumers value privacy and compensation more than they see benefits to sharing personal data

- Transparency and assurances of confidentiality and security can best allay concerns around usage of personal data.


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