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Deloitte Privacy Index 2019

Trust: is there an App for that?

14 May 2019:  According to Deloitte’s fifth annual assessment of the privacy practices of Australia’s top 100 consumer brands, ‘there are few things more powerful when it comes to building trust than getting your privacy settings right.’ So the Deloitte’s Privacy Index 2019 finding that 89% of consumers have denied a mobile app access to their location, photos, camera or contacts, due to privacy concerns is a wake-up call.

David Batch, Deloitte National Privacy and Data Protection Lead and Index author said: “As community expectations are now setting the parameters of social licence and trustworthiness, ‘what you are doing with my data’, and ‘how you are protecting my privacy’ are key considerations that companies need to take seriously.”

In this year’s Deloitte Privacy Index the professional services firm examines the privacy characteristics of the mobile apps of Australia’s top 100 brands. On behalf of Deloitte, Roy Morgan Research also surveyed more than 1000 Australian consumers aged 18 and above, asking them about their personal privacy practices when interacting with their mobile apps, how they control their privacy, which brands they trusted most and least, and how it influenced their behaviour. The Index then ranks the brands by sector.

Batch explained: “The findings highlight where brands need to fix their app’s privacy attributes, and what consumers expect, think and do about their privacy when using the app.

“We found significant differences in the maturity of privacy practices across brands and sectors and a growing consumer awareness of privacy, with a strong desire to take control of their data.”

Deloitte national Cyber Governance lead partner Tommy Viljoen said: “Apps have embedded themselves into our daily lives and as users we expect apps to be useful, easy to use, secure, and personal - not peppered with information or features we don’t want. This means we need to share significant amounts of personal information with the app.

“How brands balance these needs is the substance of our 2019 Privacy Index research, which is aimed at ensuring a brand’s followers and employees can trust the chosen app to be mutually beneficial and meet our expectations.”

Technology brands were the most trusted brands for privacy this year, followed by real estate, energy and utilities. And from their pole position for the previous three years of either first, second or third most trusted, the big brands in the financial and government sectors have slid to close to the bottom of least trusted, with health and fitness brands the worst performing.


Key findings

When downloading an app… Consumers demand privacy

  • 65% of consumers cited ‘trust’ in a brand as their #1 consideration when deciding to grant an app permission to access personal information. This means brands must be transparent about how they will use personal information.
  • 52% of consumers have used privacy enhancing applications such as VPNs, browsers with private browsing mode, or encrypted messaging apps, to enhance the privacy settings over those available from their handset.
  • 89% of consumers have at some point denied an app access to their location, photos, and contacts, or to features such as their mobile device’s camera or microphone, due to privacy concerns, thereby reducing the effectiveness of an app to deliver its best product or service.

When using an app

  • 46% of consumers are likely to provide false personal information when engaging with an app due to privacy concerns, thereby hindering the accuracy and usefulness of data collected by brands.
  • 59% of apps allow consumers to partially opt out of collecting their data. This suggests that brands are beginning to recognise the need to provide consumers with greater transparency and some form of control.
  • 78% of brand apps provide users with access to a privacy policy or information about their privacy practices within their application.
  • Only 21% of organisations have indicated that users have the ability to delete, or request their personal information be deleted.
  • 63% of consumers deleted apps due to privacy concerns. They will leave brands with apps that do not protect their privacy

Media Contact:

Louise Denver
Director, Corporate Affairs & Communication
T: +61 2 9322 7615
M: +61 414 889 857

Batch said: “In addition to nearly half of Australians choosing to provide false information when engaging with an app, another shocking finding was that privacy policies are not accessible in 22% of apps. This means that the basic transparency requirements of privacy law in Australia are not being fully met.

“We also found that consumers actively choose to support brands they believe respect privacy, with almost three quarters of consumers (73%), being customers of the brand they trust the most with their personal information. Some 38% of those customers said they used those brands because of their privacy practices.

“This year’s findings do indicate both a growing consumer awareness of, and ability to discern, good privacy practice.  Nevertheless, some brands have such great market share because they effectively monopolise the goods or services in high consumer demand in their sector. In this instance, consumers will still interact with that brand’s app regardless of their level of trust in that brand.

“However, these brands should note that 38% of consumers revealed they do use the brand apps they trusted the least, specifically due to their poor privacy practices, but said they would stop if there was a better alternative. Even with significant market share today, these statistics reinforce the importance of strong privacy practices in a competitive economy, and the importance of privacy to sustain business models.”

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