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Australian consumers report data-sharing concerns
Wed, 7th Jun 2023

Twilio reveals new research proving trust and transparency are cornerstones of building a sustainable data-sharing ecosystem for digital marketing in Australia.

The new research from Twilio's customer engagement platform was conducted on 1500 consumers across APAC countries, including Australia.

It investigates Australian consumers' mindset around significant data privacy shifts and digital marketing evolution, including the industry's imminent shift away from third-party data. 

The research found that three-quarters of Australian consumers do not know how organisations use their personal data (78%) and have limited or no control over how their data is used or disclosed to other organisations (73%).

Investigating this further, the research uncovered a correlation between comfort levels in sharing personal data and knowledge about how organisations utilise this data. 

More than two-thirds (70%) of Australian consumers surveyed said they would share more information if they trusted a company or brand.

To enhance trust, 65% of Australian respondents also expect clear and understandable information about data usage, emphasising the importance of transparency in building consumer confidence. 

A similar number (65%) of local consumers also expected a company to ask for consent before using data and to inform them how their data would be protected (64%).

Moreover, the research sought to balance consumer scepticism, cookies and personalisation.

Local respondents appreciate the benefits of personalised experiences, with over half (51%) acknowledging that personal data usage enhances their interaction with brand websites. Almost all (93%) also know that rejecting a site/app's use of cookies limits that brand's ability to personalise its engagement.

However, while 79% of local respondents either accept all cookies or allow selected cookies, further report findings show this may not be due to a willingness to share data. 

More than one-third (34%) of Australian consumers feel they have to give up personal information they don't want to share just to access basic digital services, either most or all of the time. 

Similarly, two-thirds (63%) of Australian respondents believe consumers should avoid websites that collect cookies altogether. 

An overwhelming 89% agree that site owners must disclose their use of cookies and provide the option to opt-out or risk losing consumer trust.

These findings underscore the need for brands to balance personalised experiences and consumer privacy, maintaining trust while offering tailored engagements.

Next, the research investigated cyberattacks, transparency, and brand loyalty.

Following a data breach, 21% of Australian respondents would continue to share personal data with their favourite brand. Interestingly, nearly half (45%) of consumers would be more willing to share personal data if the brand was transparent about the breach and took necessary steps to address the situation.

These insights emphasise the critical role of clear communication and prompt action in mitigating cyberattack damages, highlighting the importance of trust and transparency in today's digital environment.

The results additionally show that consumer trust is best earnt through past experience rather than positive word of mouth or online reviews. When asked what would lead them to trust a brand, Australian consumers rated highest those companies they have already had good experiences with (58%), companies they frequently buy from (54%) and those that are transparent about policies (53%). 

Only one-quarter would trust brands that are popular in their social circles, and only one-third would trust those with good online reviews. 

Nicholas Kontopoulos, Vice President of Marketing, Asia Pacific & Japan, Twilio, says: "What these results show is that Australian consumers are feeling a strong lack of control and awareness around how their data is used. This uncertainty is unsurprisingly leading to greater hesitation around data sharing."

"But when consumer trust is earned through positive experiences, consumers are more willing to share personal data, even in the wake of a breach."

"So clearly brand trust will play a pivotal role in forging the pathway to a healthy and sustainable data-sharing ecosystem in the post-cookie era," says Kontopoulos.