Lookout Threat Intelligence
Threat Intelligence

December 5, 2016

min read

Privacy Zeitgeist

In 2015 we’re living in a ‘Privacy Zeitgeist’, with new Lookout/ICM research showing that Brits are now hyper-vigilant about protecting the privacy of the data on their mobile phones. Partially driven by recent events such as the Snowden revelations, high-profile data breaches and celebrity photo-leaking incidents, and partially by a growing awareness and sensitivity to the treasure trove of data that our mobiles hold – it’s clear, privacy is top-of-mind in the UK.

Lookout’s Privacy Zeitgeist research, based on a 2015 ICM survey of 1,000 smartphone owners in the United Kingdom, examines data-based trends about our privacy mindsets. While perspectives on what’s most important with mobile privacy differ depending on gender and age, Brits appear to be demonstrating a heightened sense about its overall importance.

Brits: “We’re committed to mobile privacy”

Good news, Brits report that they’re both conscientious and accountable when it comes to protecting the privacy of the personal data shared via smartphones. Three out of every four consumers (73%) claim that they are now very careful about protecting their personal privacy. With privacy constantly in the headlines, Brits now feel the need to personally take responsibility for their own data (67%), while far fewer (4%) feel it is up to the government to protect their data.

Lookout also found that Windows Phone owners are much more privacy-conscious than Android and iPhone users – 41% always consider their mobile privacy when using their handsets, compared with 26% for both Android & iPhone.

News headlines are changing our views on privacy

Today, it’s commonplace to see high-profile security breaches or privacy faux pas slashed across the front pages of the news. According to Lookout’s survey results, these current events are making people more conscious of the need to protect their personal data.

Brits aren’t willing to negotiate away their privacy

When it comes to privacy, Brits won’t compromise - two thirds are not willing to share more data via their mobile apps in return for a cheaper (68%) or a more tailored service (66%).

However, the younger generations are more willing to bargain away their privacy: 21% of those aged 18-34 would share more information for a cheaper service, compared to just 7% of those aged 55 and above.

“With data privacy issues continuing to dominate the headlines in 2015, it’s clear that UK consumers are taking a stand and putting the privacy of their mobile data in their own hands.

While this is a very positive development, at the same time UK consumers are still showing some concerning knowledge gaps about privacy issues, as well as continuing to partake in some risky behaviours. As an industry we most focus on being absolutely transparent with consumers around privacy, and ensure they fully understand the access they are giving away via their mobile phones.”        

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