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Users most willing to share location data with mobility sector: New study

There is an interesting paradox at the heart of data sharing. At a time when there is heightened awareness and clamor against data breach, bolstered by stringent regulations like GDPR and CCPA, consumers are sharing more location data than ever. As per a recent study, consumers are most willing to share data with the mobility sector.

HERE Technologies has released a research report that highlights the evolving public attitude towards contentious issues of data privacy and data sharing.

Mobility as a Service ( MaaS) that includes mapping companies and transport and mobility applications, is certainly a sector that enjoys overall high public confidence. Most consumers across the world (76 percent) are willing to share their location data with navigation and mapping services, public transport, taxis, and ride-hailing services. Ride-hailing saw the most significant increase at 10 percent compared to 2018.

Image Courtesy: HERE

The study has been carried out in partnership with global research agency ESOMAR and research partners BuzzBack Research and Cint. It surveyed 10,000 consumers across 10 markets, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Brazil and Japan.

The study compares change in public perception as compared to 2018. There is now a greater awareness among consumers regarding data and an understanding that data is essential for business decisions, and sharing it can enhance the consumer experience. It has been found that more than two-thirds (70 percent) of consumers share their location data at least sometimes. People are more willing to share their data if it’s beneficial to them, such as for increasing safety and security, enabling a service or saving money.

Overall, the willingness of users to share location data has increased by two percentage points since 2018. The research also suggests that people are less hesitant to share their location data if they know what it’s being used for. Though consumers acknowledge the benefits of data sharing, a vast majority ( 75 percent) are still skeptical about sharing data. Results show that public willingness to share data is high when the collector is trusted and maintains transparency in using data.

“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.

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, Kovacevic further adds.

The study shows that data sharing frequency is higher in the US as compared to the rest of the world. The UK is the most advanced market when it comes to value-add and trust schemes. Consumers there share data regularly but are less informed regarding how it is utilized. Germany and France are countries where skepticism regarding data sharing is high and public trust is low. Data sharing in both of these countries is much lower than the global average.

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.”