Cisco, world leader in digital transformation, IT and networks, released its annual survey of consumers’ perceptions of data privacy around the world. Conducted in 12 countries, including France, the study shows that almost 8 out of 10 consumers make a direct link between the processing of personal data by a company and respect for its customers. Thus, transparency seems to be the absolute priority in the eyes of the French.
For consumers, trust rhymes with transparency
The French are 77% believe that the processing of personal data by a company is indicative of the way it sees and respects its customers. More than half of the French (55%) declare that they cannot effectively protect their personal data. are finally 38% believe that the government should be the main actor in protecting your privacy.
To place your trust in a company, 32% of French require simplified access to information about the use of your data and 30% declare that they do not want their personal information to be commercialized in any way.
Internationally, distrust is also present
The study reveals that 76% of consumers worldwide say they wouldn’t buy products/solutions from a company they don’t trust to manage their data. 37% of them indicate they switched providers due to data privacy practicesWhile 53% say they manage their cookie settings for a website before accepting them. Finally, 46% of people with a voice-enabled device say they turn it off regularly to protect their privacy.
In France, there is a strong need for support and clarity regarding the use of personal data by companies. Indeed, 59% of French people admit they cannot read the general conditions completely before accepting them. Also, the French would like to be able to trust companies to customize their privacy settings or risk looking elsewhere. So when a company fails to meet your privacy expectations, 25% of French consumers say they change service provider for privacy reasons.
“Companies need to explain their privacy practices in simpler terms and make them easily accessible so that all users can understand what is happening to their data. It’s not just a legal obligation, trust depends on it,” said Harvey Jang, vice president and chief privacy officer at Cisco.
Voluntary and thoughtful French people who still need to be convinced
More than one in two French people (55%) declares that it is not able to effectively protect your personal data. The reasons cited are the impossibility of knowing what companies do with their data (83%) While 45% French feel obliged to accept the way in which the data is used if they want to have the service offered by the company in question. More worryingly, 43% think their personal data is already accessible anyway. The transparency effort is an important issue here to restore trust.
38% of French people believe that the government should assume the role of data protector, while 21% believe that ensuring confidentiality is the responsibility of companies. About 1 in 2 French believes that personal data protection laws have a positive impact. Another interesting fact is that French consumers have a better knowledge of privacy laws (52%) than its German neighbors (46%), Italian (33%) and Spanish (28%). That leaves the opportunity for the government to propose new laws for the French who are more vigilant than ever.
Finally, there is a glimmer of hope regarding the reappropriation of personal data by the French, since they are 18% have already exercised their right of access, which consists of asking a company to recover the data it holds about them. In fact, even though this share is relatively low compared to countries like India (59%) or Italy (26%), we can imagine that the French will be more attentive to the data collected by third parties, as this practice, still unknown a few years ago, will gain strength. Raising awareness of possible solutions for French people who want more visibility into their data will therefore be a key driver of renewed trust.
Artificial intelligence and data privacy, an ambivalent relationship
The constant arrival of new technologies tends to make the French more skeptical about the idea of entrusting their data to companies. In particular, artificial intelligence will have to prove itself. In fact, the French are quite optimistic about its benefits, 32% convinced that can be useful and one in two French people is ready to share their anonymous personal data to improve AI-based products. Nonetheless, 52% of French say they are concerned about the use to which it will be put and still need reassurance. Gaining the trust of the French will be a real challenge for companies using AI because the majority of respondents (63%) claim that, so far, the use of AI has undermined their self-confidence. To be convinced, the French want ethical principles for AI to be established (58%), that at least one human is involved in the AI decision-making process (69%) and that this process is clearly explained (66%). Finally, 68% of French they simply want the freedom to accept any use of AI or not.
This anonymous survey, conducted in 2022, analyzes the responses of 2,600 adults, including a representative sample of the French population of 200 people, in 12 countries (Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom and United States).