APAC consumers believe onus on businesses, governments to safeguard their data


Almost 70% of consumers in Asia-Pacific will give up their privacy for better user experience, but just 25% feel it is their duty to safeguard their own data, with the rest pushing this responsibility to governments and businesses. China’s consumers appear most willing to forgo their privacy for richer experiences, while their counterparts in Japan are least likely to do the same. 

Across the region, just 4% refrained from using an app after a security breach. However, trust in an organisation’s ability to safeguard their data has dipped from a previous 2018 report, with social media platforms seeing the biggest drop of 19%, revealed in a survey by F5 Networks. Conducted from March to April this year, the Curve of Convenience 2020 report polled 4,100 respondents from eight Asia-Pacific markets, including Singapore, India, Indonesia, Australia, and Taiwan. 

The report noted that a majority of consumers in the region pushed the responsibility of protecting their data to others, with 43% believing businesses should assume this role while 32% pointed to their governments. 

In addition, 27% were unaware of security breaches including incidents that involved government agencies and popular apps. 

This is cause for worry, especially in China where 82% would give up their privacy in exchange for better user experience, as would 79% in India as well as in Indonesia. In comparison, 43% in Japan are willing to do the same, alongside 50% in Australia and 58% in Singapore.

Across the region, however, a whopping 96% would opt for convenience and seamless app user experience over security. Such behaviours, alongside a belief that businesses and governments should assume responsibility for consumers’ data protection, indicated a need for these organisations to beef up their security infrastructures as well as tighten regulations and compliance policies, according to the F5 report. 

However, the lack of breach awareness amongst consumers also underscored the need for these users to be more involved and vigilant when sharing their personal data along with demand for more transparency with regards to the use of their data.

F5’s Asia-Pacific senior vice president Adam Judd said: “As the pandemic redefines our lives, and businesses step up their digital transformation efforts, consumers are demanding more from the applications that they use to work, play, and connect. To truly integrate convenience and security, businesses should proactively involve consumers across the development of the applications, not only at the end. 

“This is especially the case in an age where both application consumption and security vulnerabilities are multiplying by the day,” Judd said. “Partnering with consumers means that the industry can thrive, and businesses, together with their digital partners, can create better solutions that deliver seamless yet secure experiences, any time, all the time. Ultimately, showing users what’s at stake will help them feel that they should be invested in their own protection.” 

F5 further urged businesses and governments to educate and work alongside consumers, so the latter are aware of the consequences when they choose to trade their data or privacy in exchange for more seamless user experience.

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