Consumers Are Not Willing to Trade Privacy for Free Stuff, says TRUSTe

Across Europe, many consumers are unaware that tracking happens on smartphones, with only 34 per cent of French people, 55 per cent of Brits and 59 per cent of Dutch people saying that they know about this. 70 per cent of people in Germany said that they are aware of this process.

This was found to be considerably lower than awareness of similar processes happening online, according to a study of 4000 consumers across four countries performed by TRUSTe and Ipsos MORI.

71 per cent of Germans and 69 per cent of Dutch people are concerned about privacy, with 62 per cent of Brits and 48 per cent of French people agreeing with this.

No privacy, no app

34 per cent of Germans have stopped using an app because they have privacy concerns, with 25 per cent of Dutch and British people following suit, along with 13 per cent of French smartphone users.

Few Europeans are happy to sacrifice their privacy, even if doing so means they get access to free services or content, like games. Just 16 per cent of people in France, 18 per cent in the UK, 21 per cent of Dutch people and 23 per cent of Germans saying they would be happy with this.

EU Cookies Compliance

Interestingly, the survey, which looked more closely into the EU Privacy Directive, found that while a majority of consumers are aware of the regulation and expect websites to comply, only a minority of companies are seeking consent from users before dropping cookies.

12 per cent of the top 50 UK websites and 32 per cent of Dutch websites had taken some steps to comply, offering onscreen pop-ups, banners or tab informing users about cookies. None of the top 50 websites in France or Germany has done this.

EU MD for TRUSTe, Danilo Labovic, said: “This research shows that there is a significant gap between consumer expectations and the experience provided by most companies.”