HERE’s new study suggests enhanced mobility is primary factor for sharing location data

ITS (UK) member HERE Technologies has unveiled research that demonstrates the evolving attitudes of audiences toward data privacy and data sharing. This is most notable with mapping companies and transport and mobility applications, reflecting overall consumer behaviour changes when it comes to Mobility as a Service. 

The study, carried out in partnership with global research agency ESOMAR and research partners BuzzBack Research and Cint, surveyed 10,000 consumers across 10 markets, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Australia, Brazil and Japan. It compares research of today’s opinions against those of 2018, revealing a growing awareness on the part of the consumer; their understanding of how personal information informs business solutions; and how sharing data can improve their own experiences. 

The study found that across all markets over two-thirds (70 per cent) of consumers share their location data at least sometimes. People are more willing to share their data if its beneficial to them, such as for increasing safety and security, enabling a service or saving money. Overall willingness to share location data has increased by two percentage points over the past year. The research also indicates that people are more likely to share their location data if they know what it’s being used for.

This increased willingness to share location data is seen most clearly in the mobility sector. Most consumers globally (76 per cent) are very likely to share their location data with navigation and mapping services, public transport, taxis and ride-hailing services, all of which saw a significant jump in percentage points from the 2018 study. Ride-hailing saw the most significant increase at 10 per cent.

Although consumers see the benefits of sharing their data, the majority (75 per cent) are still concerned about sharing personal information digitally. Results show that acting as a trusted and reputable data collector is key to creating willingness to share both personal and location data, especially for tech-savvy consumers. UK insights include:

  • In the UK, consumers are 10% less willing to share their location data with transport services than others surveyed globally, particularly bike sharing apps, airlines and public transport companies
  • UK consumers are nearly 10% less likely to experience unwanted spam
  • UK consumers are more frequent sharers of their location data but only a quarter of Brits know what happens to their data once it is shared
  • 64% of Brits are more likely to share with retailers, financial institutions (banks, insurance companies and tax authorities) compared to 56% of consumers globally.
  • The perception that sharing personal information is necessary has grown more prominently in the UK than globally since 2017
  • UK consumers are also more open to sharing by pre-setting their location settings to ‘on’ than they were 2 years ago, and this is in line with a strong growth in willingness to share location data with a wide range of apps and services

“Our study clearly shows that consumer behaviour is shifting when it comes to Mobility as a Service,” said Aleksandra Kovacevic, Engineering Manager of Privacy Services at HERE Technologies. “More consumers are willing to share their location data with a variety of digital services—mapping, navigation and mobility ones in particular—if businesses and service providers are transparent about their approach to using consumer data. As mobility services and apps continue to proliferate, consumers see how essential their location data is in getting them from A to B. The onus, therefore, is on the businesses and governments to provide the infrastructure necessary to involve consumers as partners in data-first offerings. This will, in turn, create more intuitive services.”

Finn Raben, Director General of ESOMAR, said, “This study shows us is that it possible to collect the data that businesses need to provide and improve offers and services, while at the same time respecting the consumer through ethical and transparent data practices. Not only can brands collect data, but they can improve trust and potentially boost revenue through transparency.”

To see the study results in full, click this link.

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