Data privacy concerns deter Singaporeans from buying online

More than a third of Singaporean consumers felt defenceless over the way organisations handle and use their personal information.

By Adrian M. Reodique
Nov. 7, 2016

Seventy percent of Singapore consumers are not convinced that companies are doing enough to protect their personal data, causing them to hesitate shopping online.   

This is according to the report by KPMG International titled "Creepy or cool? Staying on the right side of the consumer line". KPMG polled 6,900 consumers in 24 countries to determine their privacy preferences.

The study also found that Singaporean consumers felt the most defenceless among Asian respondents over the way organisations handle and use their personal information (36 percent), with just over 10 percent indicating that they had full or sufficient control.

In addition, only 34 percent of the Singapore respondents believe that there will be more online privacy in the next 10 years, as compared to Malaysia (62 percent), China (42 percent) and India (51 percent)

In essence, the report revealed respondents in most countries choose privacy control over potential convenience gained from sharing their personal data.

Consumers cited unwanted marketing (59 percent) as their top concern with businesses using their personal data. This is followed by their data being sold to third-parties (58 percent) and organisations that have unsecure systems (55 percent).

"Consumers and regulators alike are paying attention to how organisations collect, store and use personal data," said Daryl Pereira, Head of Cyber Security at KPMG Singapore, in a press release. "Companies which fail to embed privacy concerns into the DNA of their business strategy risk extinction."

"An executive would be at risk of being fired if half their customer base disappeared after they made a crucial business decision," said Mark Thompson, Global Privacy Lead at KPMG. "Understanding the value exchange between access to personal information and trust has never been more important than it is today."