Survey: Half of Malaysians in dark about personal data usage, very ‘trusting’ lot

The poll found 50 per cent of Malaysians are unsure what companies do with their personal information. — AFP pic
The poll found 50 per cent of Malaysians are unsure what companies do with their personal information. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Malaysians join many others in the world who have little knowledge about how and where their personal data is being used, according to the IPSOS — World Economic Forum: Global Citizens & Data Privacy survey.

The poll found 50 per cent of Malaysians are unsure what companies do with their personal information, although slightly more agree that allowing companies to use the data helps provide the best products, services and information.

“The latest IPSOS study showed world citizens remained in the dark about how their personal information is being used and most people do not trust how organisations use their personal data.

“The lack of knowledge of where and how personal data is used is similar in Malaysia,” a statement by the firm read.

On average, the global online community values privacy and compensation more than the benefits of sharing personal data, the study also found.

It’s a similar scenario in Malaysia, where almost two-thirds of Malaysians tend to respond favourably to transparency about what they will do with the information.

Sixty-six per cent of those polled said they valued transparency and 64 per cent said they want to get paid or rewarded for providing information.

“Consumers in emerging countries, however, tend to value benefits from letting companies use personal data about them; western countries tend not to,” IPSOS noted.

Malaysians were also found to be generally trusting when it came to how companies and the government use their personal data.

Fifty-seven per cent said they trusted healthcare providers, while 60 per cent said they trust the financial sectors to keep their personal data safe.

Ipsos Global Advisor survey on attitudes toward data privacy was done in partnership with the World Economic Forum.

In total, 18,813 interviews were conducted between October 26 and November 9, 2018 among adults aged between 18 and 64.

The survey was conducted in 26 countries via the Ipsos Online Panel system.

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