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Despite major hacks, 60% of Aussies remain unbothered about sharing personal data to service providers

New research has revealed that 60 per cent of Australians are still not worried about sharing personal details with service providers after recent data breaches.

user iconReporter
Thu, 27 Oct 2022
Despite major hacks, 60% of Aussies remain unbothered about sharing personal data to service providers
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A recent survey has revealed just how indifferent Aussies remain when it comes to giving personal details to service providers despite the recent data breaches on high-profile Australian companies.

A new survey from finance platform Money.com.au has found that 60 per cent, on average, are comfortable or indifferent about giving personal details to large corporations when signing up for services.

The proportion of those concerned is higher (at 57-68 per cent) when asked to give banking information, face photos, tax file numbers or passport details — with 28 per cent giving at least one fake detail about themselves.

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The findings were derived from a mid-October survey of an independent panel of 1,010 Australians, commissioned by the finance platform this month, after several data breaches were reported at large Australians corporations.

Concerning proportion of Aussies are comfortable giving their data away

Survey respondents had to indicate how concerned they are, if at all, about giving their personal information when signing up to a service such as a subscription, telco plan, financial product, e-commerce site, app service, utility plan or accommodation service.

The survey presented a list of 14 items — from date of birth and home address to banking and passport details — and respondents could choose whether they felt “concerned”, neutral or comfortable about giving away those details. Across all items, an average of 40 per cent of respondents indicated they are concerned about providing such details.

Respondents are most concerned about providing their bank transaction history (68 per cent concerned), bank account details (65 per cent concerned), tax file number (58 per cent), photo of their face (58 per cent) and passport details (57 per cent).

The survey also revealed that respondents are least concerned about revealing their gender (with 90 per cent comfortable or neutral), number of dependents (82 per cent comfortable or neutral), date of birth (75 per cent comfortable or neutral), home address (74 per cent comfortable or neutral) and relationship status (71 per cent).

Analysing responses across age groups, the survey uncovered that younger respondents are more comfortable about giving their personal details: an average of 45 per cent of over-50s are concerned about giving away personal details, compared with just 31 per cent of under-30s.

More than half (52 per cent) of respondents don’t read privacy terms and conditions when providing personal details to sign up to a subscription, telco plan, financial product, e-commerce site or other online services.

Aussies are unlikely to share fake personal details as a means to protect their data

Money.com.au asked respondents if they provide fake details about themselves when signing up to services. More than a quarter (28 per cent) admit to providing some fake detail. Date of birth is the most common fake information that respondents tend to provide (chosen by 15 per cent), followed by home address (13 per cent) and name (12 per cent).

Younger respondents are more likely to provide fake details: 32 per cent of under-30s tend to fabricate at least one personal detail online, compared with 29 per cent of 31-50-year-olds and 24 per cent of over-50s. Specifically, under-30s are more likely to fake their name, at 16 per cent, compared with 12 per cent of 31-50-year-olds and 9 per cent of over-50s.

Overall, a higher proportion of men tend to falsify their personal details: 31 per cent of men have provided fake information, compared with 25 per cent of women.

Proposed myGovID digital identity solution

After the Optus data breach, the federal government has put forward the idea that it could centralise identity information through the myGovID digital identity system, as a solution.

This would mean individuals would not be required to provide ID documents multiple times to service providers.

Aussies would input their personal information into their existing MyGov account and only businesses verified to join the “Trusted Digital Identity Framework” would be able to access an individual’s data.

Finally, the survey has also found that eight in 10 (79 per cent) respondents are concerned that this proposed digital ID could still be hacked and compromised in data breaches.

[Related: Telstra bolsters government end-to-end security capabilities]

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