The APAC region showed highest awareness of data protection liabilities, while the general trend was a rift in expectations.

When it comes the exchange of personal information between businesses and consumers, new findings show that the former group tend to overestimate the latter group’s satisfaction with the value they receive for sharing that data.

Over 800 consumers and 600 business executives across major industries globally were involved in the study commissioned by credit firm Mastercard, which is aimed at offering insights into how enterprises can improve their data practices and strategies for building consumer goodwill and driving better business results.

The study asserts that globally, there is a gap between businesses’ and consumers’ opinions on the value of data exchange.

  • 60% of executives thought that consumers believed they were getting good value in exchange for sharing their personal data. However, only 44% of consumers felt that the exchange was worthwhile
  • 33% of consumers wanted companies to stop sharing customer information with third parties, while only 10% of businesses saw this as a concern

Despite the difference in their responses, data responsibility was on top of mind for both businesses and consumers because:

  • 88% of executives said that consumer concerns were a major consideration in their companies’ practices and strategies, while 72% of consumers responded that they paid attention to how businesses collected and used their data
  • 62% of consumers also considered fraud or identity theft as their number one concern, with 51% of businesses saying they prioritized the protection of consumers’ personal data

Asia Pacific leads in data practices

The survey indicates that the Asia-Pacific region (APAC) leads the world in the number of companies that put consumer concerns at the center of their data practises (90%), with 60% of businesses from the region believing they could benefit from increasing their commitment to use consumer data appropriately.

Businesses in the region also led in terms of innovation in ensuring consumers benefited from sharing their data.

  • 71% of businesses expressed their commitment to give consumers worthwhile value in exchange for their data use
  • 82% of business respondents believed that collecting consumer data can improve their services or operations
  • 38% of businesses had solicited direct feedback from consumers about how they wanted their personal information used
  • 58% of Asia Pacific businesses viewed their data practices as transparent

As APAC shifts rapidly to digital commerce as a default mode of business, consumers have indicated that they appreciate the personalization that comes with data sharing. In view of this, it is important for organizations to continue establishing responsible data practices, ensuring that their usage of data could deliver benefits that bring value to consumers.

In late 2019, Mastercard launched a Global Data Responsibility Imperative with the aim to encourage companies to consider how data practices can best serve society as a whole.