We look at the affinity Indians have for digital technology, their salient data anxieties and the conflicting mindset this creates. We also highlight the implications of this mindset for brands, especially those which offer digital services.
Key takeaways include:
There is an increasing recognition of the power of the data we are sharing when we download an app, and growing anxiety about its misuse and how much is actually in our control.
The social media dilemma
Research shows Indians are particularly distrustful of social media platforms compared to other players. However, this is clearly not a barrier to entering the digital world – social media users in India have more than doubled in the last five years, growing from 168 million in 2016 to 376 million in 2020.
Fears of financial fraud
Indians have always been wary of financial technology, be it credit card transactions or online banking. Though banks and financial institutions are well regarded when it comes to data protection, there is still considerable anxiety about the potential of a material loss – including worries about theft of critical financial information while conducting cashless transactions, especially online.
Big brother complex
The extensive data collection and data integration that the Indian government is undertaking is a great source of unease. Though reliable data is the critical foundation for e-governance and efficient implementation of many welfare schemes, the growing appetite that the state has shown for its citizens’ data is now causing serious concern.