New study suggests enhanced mobility is primary factor for sharing location data

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  • As global privacy views evolve, nine in 10 consumers now understand the value associated with sharing their personal and location data.
  • Location-enabled services are most likely to benefit from data sharing, with mapping, navigation, ride hailing, public transport and taxis seeing the biggest uptake since 2018.

India, September 11, 2019 – HERE Technologies, a global leader in mapping and location platform services, today unveils research that demonstrates the evolving attitudes of audiences toward data privacy and data sharing. This is most notable with mapping companies and transport and mobility applications, reflecting overall consumer behavior changes when it comes to Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

The study, carried out in partnership with global research agency ESOMAR and research partners BuzzBack Research and Cint, surveyed 10,000 consumers across 10 markets, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Brazil and Japan. It compares research of today’s opinions against those of 2018, revealing a growing awareness on the part of the consumer; their understanding of how personal information informs business solutions; and how sharing data can improve their own experiences.

The study found that over two-thirds (70 per cent) of consumers share their location data at least sometimes. People are more willing to share their data if its beneficial to them, such as for increasing safety and security, enabling a service or saving money. Overall willingness to share location data has increased by two percentage points over the past year. The research also indicates that people are more likely to share their location data if they know what it’s being used for.

This increased willingness to share location data is seen most clearly in the mobility sector. Most consumers globally (76 per cent) are very likely to share their location data with navigation and mapping services, public transport, taxis and ride-hailing services, all of which saw a significant jump in percentage points from the 2018 study. Ride-hailing saw the most significant increase at 10 per cent.

Although consumers see the benefits of sharing their data, the majority (75 per cent) are still concerned about sharing personal information digitally. Results show that acting as a trusted and reputable data collector is key to creating willingness to share both personal and location data, especially for tech-savvy consumers. Insights include:

  • In the U.S., the frequency of sharing data is higher than in the rest of the world, implying that data breaches are more regular and stress levels are heightened as a result.
  • The U.K. is the most advanced of any market regarding value-add and trust schemes. U.K. consumers share their data more frequently than those in other countries. Despite this, they feel less informed about what happens to their personal information and what it is used for.
  • German consumers share their location data a lot less frequently than consumers globally, and this is reflected in their lower willingness to share with a range of services and companies, especially government bodies and tax authorities. Overall consumer trust is much lower in Germany than it is globally.
  • French consumers are both less trusting and less willing to share location data with a variety of services and apps.

“Our study clearly shows that consumer behavior is shifting when it comes to Mobility as a Service,” said Aleksandra Kovacevic, Engineering Manager of Privacy Services at HERE Technologies. “More consumers are willing to share their location data with a variety of digital services—mapping, navigation and mobility ones in particular—if businesses and service providers are transparent about their approach to using consumer data. As mobility services and apps continue to proliferate, consumers see how essential their location data is in getting them from A to B. The onus, therefore, is on the businesses and governments to provide the infrastructure necessary to involve consumers as partners in data-first offerings. This will, in turn, create more intuitive services.”

Finn Raben, Director General of ESOMAR, said, “This study shows us is that it possible to collect the data that businesses need to provide and improve offers and services, while at the same time respecting the consumer through ethical and transparent data practices. Not only can brands collect data, but they can improve trust and potentially boost revenue through transparency.”