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65% of people don’t trust businesses to use their data responsibly: CHOICE

'Tis the season for data collection and misuse.

Last updated: 05 December 2023

New research from CHOICE has revealed 65% of people don't trust businesses to use their data responsibly and in their best interest - an increase of 25% from 2022. 

"It's no surprise more people don't trust companies to use their data responsibly. Over the past year we've seen the terrible consequences data breaches can have for those affected by them, including at Medibank and Latitude," says Senior Campaigns and Policy Advisor Rafi Alam. 

"With Christmas approaching, many consumers will be purchasing gifts and using services likely to collect a large amount of personal information. Signing up for a subscription, buying a new mobile phone plan or using your loyalty card when buying Christmas groceries can all put you at risk of data misuse," says Alam. 

CHOICE's research also found:

  • 78% of people are concerned about their data being sold to data brokers
  • 70% of people are concerned about their data being used in automated decision-making 
  • 63% of people are concerned about businesses collecting their data

"When people go grocery shopping or buy gifts for loved ones this Christmas, they shouldn't have to worry about their data being handled irresponsibly and their privacy being put at risk. Unfortunately, outdated privacy legislation means businesses can currently collect and exploit people's data with limited consequences," says Alam.

"Rapid technological advancements mean we urgently need more comprehensive laws to protect people's data. CHOICE looks forward to working with the Federal Government as they begin to implement improvements to the Privacy Act and strengthen Australia's privacy legislation," says Alam. 

"Christmas is a time for celebration with your family and friends, not worrying where your personal information will end up and how it will be used. Stronger privacy reforms will give consumers more peace of mind when shopping, ensuring their data is being used responsibly," says Alam.

Editor's notes:

CHOICE Consumer Pulse September 2023 is based on an online survey designed and analysed by CHOICE. 1,035 Australian households responded to the survey with quotas applied to ensure coverage across all age groups, genders and locations in each state and territory across metropolitan and regional areas. The data was weighted to ensure it is representative of the Australian population based on the 2021 ABS Census data. Fieldwork was conducted from 29 August to 18 September 2023.

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