A new influential report on consumer trust has found heightened awareness of privacy issues is leading to encouraging changes in behaviour.
The annual Global Consumer Trust study from Mobile Ecosystem Forum found that privacy is the biggest trust-related concern for 16pc of those interviewed.
Growing awareness of privacy, security and identity issues is also prompting distinct changes in behaviour, with 75pc of respondents saying they always or sometimes reading privacy policies and terms of conditions before signing up to mobile apps or services.
In what the report dubs the emergence of the Savvy Consumer, 86pc will go on to take some kind of action if their trust is challenged.
Almost half will stop using a service (a year-on-year increase to 44pc from 38pc) and nearly one in three (30pc) will warn friends and family.
At the same time, the Savvy Consumer also rewards businesses they trust with almost half (47pc) recommending them to friends and family, and 44pc leaving a positive review.
The report, based on a 10-country study carried out by On Device Research on behalf of MEF, also shows that consumers recognise the value of services created by offering more control and choice over how their personal data is managed.
When asked what consumers would value in exchange for their sharing, personal data privacy-protection and access to their data (31pc) was judged to be more important than financial rewards (29pc) and discounts (22pc).
One in three (33pc) understands that the benefit of transferring data between providers – portability – might save them time, and one in four (25pc) would appreciate faster identity verification.
Rimma Perelmuter, MEF’s CEO commented: “MEF’s annual consumer trust study is a barometer of evolving consumer attitudes and carries significant lessons for the mobile ecosystem. This year’s study shows a paradigm shift with the emergence of the ‘Savvy Consumer’ and identifies clear business benefits for all stakeholders to create data-driven services built on trust, transparency and control.
“Heightened consumer sensitivity combined with increased awareness of the value of their personal data means that the industry needs to shift its mindset and default to a position of putting the consumer first. The opportunity is to design products and services or create new business models that are based on a fair and trusted value exchange in order to meet changing consumer demands.”
When asked what makes an app or service trustworthy, more people (33pc) pointed to a ‘clear, simple privacy statement’ than any other response.
More than half (53pc) said it was extremely important to know that an app or service is using their personal data and 61pc said it was important that a company deletes personal data held when asked.
MEF’s Global Consumer Trust study is supported by ForgeRock, Orange, and digi.me. On Device Research surveyed 6,500 consumers in 10 markets: Belgium, China, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, South, Africa, Spain, UK and USA in Q2 2017.