UAE consumers conflicted over privacy; F5 Networks
Study reveals differing attitudes towards personal data use and protection from cyber terrorism
F5 Networks has revealed that UAE consumers have no confidence in some organisations to keep their data safe, yet many are willing to share their personal information in return for using a service for free.
The EMEA-commissioned study surveyed over 1,000 consumers across the UAE to explore their attitudes towards security and handling.
The study found sharing data with private companies left 58% of UAE consumers concerned that their data would fall in to the wrong hands and 54% felt their privacy would be compromised.
Social media and marketing companies were least trusted, with 66% stating they do not trust such companies protecting their data, and only 27% were confident that they could protect consumer data effectively from hackers.
Despite these concerns, consumers overlooked these fears if it meant that they could use a company's services for free. This meant that 51% were willing to share their date of birth, 45% would share their marital status and 35% would share their personal interests. Furthermore, 37% would share their shopping habits and their mobile number, which is one of the highest percentages in EMEA.
UAE consumers were consistently more willing to give up their data compared to their European counterparts; only 11% in the UAE stated they would not give up their data at all compared to 33% in the UK.
It would also appear that consumers in the UAE regarded banks as the most trustworthy, however there is dissatisfaction in the methods used to protect their data. Those surveyed said that banks, public sector and government, insurance and healthcare must field better authentication capabilities to achieve better security.
Mike Convertino, CISO and VP, Information Security at F5 Networks said: "There are clear differences in the type of companies that consumers trust with their data. More traditional players such as banks are by far considered the most trustworthy but interestingly, we share the most information with social media channels despite the fact that we trust these companies the least to keep our data safe.
"Regardless of the industry, any consumer facing organisation needs to ensure that its protection is in line with its customers increasing demands. As we all become more aware of the risks, it becomes even more important to get a security and data protection infrastructure - technology, education and processes - in place that is stringent enough to protect against threats, but does not harm the customer experience," he added.