29 Jun Compare and Contrast: The Connected World in Europe, Japan and the U.S.
June 29, 2015
Today’s continuously connected society is changing many aspects of daily life, yet the majority of respondents in our survey “Privacy and Security in a Connected Life” have not become more concerned overall about the security of their personal data. However, certain aspects of the increased connectivity have made consumers more hesitant across the board. Data breaches, the sharing of medical records, and the increased use of mobile and social devices are a universal concern among consumers everywhere.
Same concerns, Different causes
Despite general similarities between consumers in the U.S., Japan and Europe, societal and cultural differences impact the way certain aspects of privacy and security are perceived. The general privacy concerns may be the same, but the causes and how implications tends to fluctuate across regions.
Consumers in Europe are generally more wary of privacy and security than respondents from other areas.
- Data privacy is important in all regions, but it is clearly more significant in Europe (68%) and Japan (50%) than in the U.S. (46%)
- 39 percent have growing concerns about government surveillance, compared to only 19 percent and 11 percent of U.S. and Japanese respondents, respectively
- Europeans are more weary of exchanging their personal information for money (42%), while the Japanese (60%) and American (59%) respondents would be willing to sell this information
- Europeans agree they have control over data they’ve shared with companies (43%), compared to only 30 percent of Japanese and 22 percent of U.S. respondents
- 43 percent believe they have control over their data even if it is shared with companies
Japan’s primary privacy concerns may stem from the country’s history and culture.
- While all regions show growing concern over privacy and social media, this is far greater for Japan (63%) than for the U.S. (46%) or Europe (50%)
- Only 38 percent of Japanese respondents believe they have the option of opting out of data collection or sharing, compared to the U.S. (49%) and Europe (44%)
- 21 percent believe their data is encrypted, which is much higher than that same belief in Europe (16%) and the U.S. (12%)
- Few people across the regions know who to contact with privacy concerns, but Japan had the fewest (5%) compared to Europe (10%) and the U.S. (9%)
Privacy concerns among U.S. respondents may be driven by the large number of respondents who were victimized by a data breach.
- 73 percent have experienced a data breach in the past five years, which is significantly higher than those in Japan (55%) and Europe (56%)
- All regions are wary of the amount of personal data being shared with third-party entities, with the U.S. showing the greatest concern (59%), followed by Europe (49%) and Japan (40%)
- In six out of seven categories, personal information is worth considerably more to U.S. consumers than to other respondents. For example, the U.S. gave their GPS location a value of $38 compared to Japan ($5.1) and Europe ($4.8)
- The U.S. shows the least amount of concern for privacy related to smartphones and tablets (53%) compared to Japan (69%) and Europe (66%)
Though perceptions of security needs and data privacy vary across different regions, consumers everywhere agree these are increasingly important topics. Despite mounting concerns, most people are still unsure how to keep themselves safe from cybersecurity threats. Education and awareness are the key to empowering consumers to take control of their data and protect their personal privacy and security.