A new study by Here Technologies has highlighted widespread unease with sharing location data which could hinder the acceptance of autonomous vehicles. The researchers consulted more than 8,000 people across eight countries and also conducted in-depth interviews with privacy experts.
Only 20% of the study’s participants feel they have full control over their location data, with 44% sharing location data with apps and service providers unintentionally, despite trying to restrict access.
In the UK, only 12% know what personal data is collected about them. Despite this, UK consumers generally have a more positive attitude about sharing their location data than those in other markets 29% of UK respondents share location data always or very often, more than the global average of 21%.
Globally, 76% of people are left feeling stressed or vulnerable about sharing their location data, according to the study.
Data in exchange for value or improved experience was found to be a key driver of information sharing. In the UK, 28% of consumers strongly agree that they are happy to share data when something is in it for them. Those in the UK were also overwhelmingly willing to share data for financial benefits (78%) and 7% more likely than the rest of the world to share with banks (22%).
Among the benefits gained by sharing their location data, globally people ranked greater car safety the highest, with some 73% saying they would be likely to share their location data in such a scenario. In more futuristic scenarios, 72% of worldwide consumers would be willing to share their location data for an autonomous car to find the most efficient routes, while 69% would share to enable a drone to find a missing person, pet or item.
The study revealed that increased transparency and control over how location data is collected and used could increase consumer trust and make them more willing to share. Around 70% globally said they would grant access to a data collector if they knew why their location data was needed, what it was used for, and that it was protected, stored safely or systematically deleted. A similar number said they would also allow access if they could more easily change their settings, withdraw access and delete their history.
Accordingly, of all respondents, most people would be open to utilizing new technologies to help people manage their data, the study showed. Some 63% said they would use a privacy service, which would manage their privacy settings based on their preferences on any device that they use. Meanwhile, 51% worldwide said they would entrust their private data management needs to an AI bot.
“Autonomous transportation and other new services will require increasingly time-sensitive and machine-to-machine communications, and for people to enjoy uninterrupted access to these kinds of services, a new approach to privacy is needed,” said Dr Peter Kürpick, executive vice president and chief platform officer at Here Technologies.
“We believe the answer is in equipping people with transparent user-friendly settings that allow them to grant and withdraw access rights as well as manage their privacy preferences, helping them stay in better control of what they’re sharing across their digital life.
“For our part, we’re exploring privacy-as-a-service concepts for potential development. However, it is also paramount that there is a collaborative approach across different industry segments to develop the right solutions. Verimi, in which Here is an investor, is a good example of a cross-industry initiative which will help people manage their data and privacy.”