Mistrust, concern and uncertainty over how companies and service providers collect and use location data are revealed in survey of 8,000 people across eight countries
Two in five people discovered they share location data with more apps than they thought
Only one in five feel they have full control over their location data
Most would consider using an AI bot to manage their data privacy in future
Concerns that companies are abusing public trust in the way they gather and use location data mean a fundamental rethink is needed in order for people to embrace new services such as autonomous cars and drone deliveries, according to a major new study by HERE Technologies.
Today, just 20% of people feel they have full control over their personal location data, with 44% sharing location data with apps and service providers unintentionally, despite trying to restrict access. Some 76% people are left feeling stressed or vulnerable about sharing their location data, according to the study.
Insufficient controls for management of personal data, coupled with a lack of transparency on the part of data collectors, are the main reasons why respondents felt trust was being abused. The research gathered the views of more than 8,000 people across eight countries and included in-depth interviews with international privacy experts.
Other key findings included:
The study revealed that increased transparency and control over how location data is collected and used could increase consumer trust and make them more willing to share. Around 70% said they would grant access to a data collector if they knew why their location data was needed, what it was used for, and that it was protected, stored safely or systematically deleted. A similar number said they would also allow access if they could more easily change their settings, withdraw access and delete their history.
Accordingly, most people would be open to utilizing new technologies to help people manage their data, the study showed. Some 63% said they would use a ‘privacy service’, which would manage their privacy settings based on their preferences on any device that they use. Meanwhile, 51% said they would entrust their private data management needs to an Artificial Intelligence (AI) bot.
Among the many benefits gained by sharing their location data, people ranked greater car safety the highest, with some 73% of people saying they would be likely to share their location data in such a scenario. Services which enable people to save money, get discounts and rewards also ranked highly.
In more futuristic scenarios, 72% of consumers would be willing to share their location data for an autonomous car to find the most efficient routes, while 69% would share to enable a drone to find a missing person, pet or item.
Dr. Peter Kürpick, Chief Platform Officer at HERE Technologies, said: “People share location data with app providers because of the many benefits, whether it’s food delivery, hailing a ride, or getting the most out of social media. But, for many, it can be a trade with which they’re uneasy. While the lack of trust is problematic today, we believe that there could be greater challenges down the road if privacy practices continue to be dominated by a click-to-consent approach.”
He added: “Autonomous transportation and other new services will require increasingly time-sensitive and machine-to-machine communications, and for people to enjoy uninterrupted access to these kinds of services, a new approach to privacy is needed. We believe the answer is in equipping people with transparent user-friendly settings that allow them to grant and withdraw access rights as well as manage their privacy preferences, helping them stay in better control of what they’re sharing across their digital life. For our part, we’re exploring privacy-as-a-service concepts for potential development. However, it is also paramount that there is a collaborative approach across different industry segments to develop the right solutions. Verimi, in which HERE is an investor, is a good example of a cross-industry initiative which will help people manage their data and privacy.”
The quantitative research surveyed people in Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, the UK and the U.S., revealing the following:
The full report can be downloaded here: https://www.here.com/en/file/31351/download?token=pS27VRxz
About HERE Technologies
HERE, the Open Location Platform company, enables people, enterprises and cities to harness the power of location. By making sense of the world through the lens of location we empower our customers to achieve better outcomes – from helping a city manage its infrastructure or an enterprise optimize its assets to guiding drivers to their destination safely. To learn more about HERE, including our new generation of cloud-based location platform services, visitwww.here.com and http://360.here.com