Data privacy: how concerned are consumers in APAC – and does it affect the devices they buy?

Samuel TanAPAC Data Journalist / B2B Content Manager
February 06, 2023, 5:04 AM GMT+0

From collaborating with colleagues on documents in the cloud, through messaging and video-calling family members locally and overseas, buying groceries and booking taxis on-the-go, to transferring funds across bank accounts and watching live concerts from your phone, digital technologies have increasingly penetrated multiple aspects of modern life.

But as public awareness of how digital devices and digitally-transformed businesses are amassing huge volumes of personal information grows, what is the level of concern that consumers in APAC have towards data privacy and security – especially when purchasing consumer electronics products?

How concerned are APAC consumers about the privacy and security of their personal data?

Latest data from YouGov Surveys show that consumer concerns about data privacy and security are more widespread in APAC, compared to other global regions such as AMERS and EMEA. Close to four in five of APAC consumers express concern about the security and privacy of their personal data (78%), of which almost two in five say they are “very concerned” (39%).

Among older consumers in APAC, data privacy and security concerns are slightly more widespread, with more than four in five expressing so (86% of Baby Boomers and 83% of Gen X). But even among younger consumers, over seven in ten are somewhat/very concerned about the privacy and security of their personal data (76% of Millennials and 71% of Gen Z).

How do various APAC markets differ in their attitudes towards data privacy and security?

Overall concern about data privacy and security is highest among consumers in Hong Kong (85%), Singapore (83%) and India (81%), where more than four in five express worry.

Acute concern about data privacy and security, however, is highest in India – where over half of consumers are “very concerned” (56%) – and Indonesia – where over two in five are “very concerned” (44%).

Both markets have been plagued by numerous data breaches over the past year. Between January to June 2022, India was the second worst-hit country globally in terms of data breaches, with major incidents including the ‘Aadhar card’ data leak which exposed the personal data of millions of farmers across the subcontinent. Meanwhile, Indonesians had to contend with large-scale hacks of public institutions – including the National Police, General Elections Commission, Ministry of Home Affairs and State Electricity Company – that exposed millions of social identity numbers, full names, phone numbers and home addresses.

Compared to other APAC markets, a relatively smaller proportion of Chinese consumers express concern about their data privacy and security. But a clear majority of them still do: almost seven in ten are worried (69%), while around a quarter are “very concerned” (26%).

To what extent do APAC consumers consider data privacy and security when purchasing digital devices?

Data from YouGov Surveys also show that when purchasing consumer electronics, just over half of consumers in APAC (51%) say data privacy and security are among the top five factors they consider – compared to just under half of AMERS consumers (49%) and over two in five EMEA consumers (42%).

While we earlier saw that older consumers are more likely to be generally concerned about data privacy and security than younger consumers, a similar age-based pattern was not observed for the evaluation of data privacy/security when buying digital devices.

Gen Z consumers were most likely to consider data privacy/security when purchasing electronics (56%), followed by Baby Boomers (54%), with over half indicating it was one of the top five factors they would evaluate. Meanwhile, just under half of Millennials (49%) and Gen X consumers (47%) indicated the same.

What proportion of consumers in various APAC markets consider data privacy and security when purchasing digital devices?

Data privacy and security is a major consideration when choosing electronics products, for the majority of consumers in Indonesia (64%) – where it is the second most evaluated factor after price, and Singapore (52%) – where it is the fourth most evaluated factor after price, ease of use and device features.

Just under half of consumers in Hong Kong (48%), India (48%) and Australia (47%) also say they consider data privacy and security when buying digital devices – where it is the third most evaluated factor – as well as in mainland China (41%) where it is the fourth most evaluated factor.

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 166 and 2,015 for each market. All surveys were conducted online in September 2022. Data from each market uses a nationally representative sample apart from Mexico and India, which use urban representative samples, and Indonesia and Hong Kong, which use online representative samples. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.

Cover Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash