Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 - Roy Morgan Research

The proportion of Australians who are comfortable giving personal and credit card details over the internet has increased steadily since 2011—but, perhaps conversely, more of us are concerned about invasion of privacy through new technology.    

In the year to June 2014, 23% of Australians (14+) agreed they were comfortable giving personal details over the internet (up 4% points since June 2011), 34% were comfortable giving out credit card details online (up 3% points), but 2 in 3 of us (67%) are worried about invasion of privacy through new technology (up 2% points).

Our rising comfort level with submitting credit card numbers and personal information online clearly has a lot to do with increasing internet usage. 12.3m Australians 14+ (64%) now use the internet more than once a day: 46% of these frequent users are comfortable giving out credit card details and 31% are fine with putting personal details online. Even regular once-a-day internet users are only around half as likely as frequent users to agree with either statement, with those online a few times a week, or between once month and once a week, each successively less likely again to be comfortable.

However, while comfort increases dramatically with familiarity, concern for privacy is much steadier across the groups: 65% of the most frequent internet users now say they are worried about invasion of their privacy through new technology, compared 71% of daily or ‘few times a week’ users, and 73% of weekly to monthly users.     

Comfort and concern by frequency of internet use:

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 – June 2014, sample = 16,809 Australians 14+

Just 54% of people who bought a product online within the last four weeks agree they are comfortable sending credit card details via the internet. Perhaps in the new digital age convenience is trumping, rather than alleviating, our worries. We may not always like typing in our credit card of mobile number, but we do it anyway.

Tim Martin, General Manager - Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The recent hacking and theft of celebrities’ personal files from Apple’s iCloud storage system has again raised questions about internet privacy and security, and just how much faith we put in new online technologies for the sake of convenience.

“Announced last week, the iPhone 6 incorporates technology that will potentially allow owners to use their mobiles as a credit card to tap and pay.

“Our research shows that Apple computer users are much more comfortable giving out credit card details or personal information, but they only slightly less worried about invasion of privacy than average.   

“As well as frequency af use and familiarity, age plays a big part in our attitudes to privacy. Generation X and Baby Boomers are more concerned about privacy than average, while Generation Y is the most comfortable giving credit card and personal information over the internet with only around average concern for privacy.

“However people aged either under 20 or over 80 share a similarly below average level of concern for invasion of privacy through new technology: the older group in large part because they don’t use it; but the younger group, having grown up with internet access as the norm, may be finding ways to manage privacy risks through more careful consideration of what information they release, how they store it or share it, and what trusted sites and apps they access.” 

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia’s best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Shaun Ellis
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