Consumers in Asia-Pacific are actively sharing less personal data online, according to Dentsu Aegis Network’s Digital Society Index 2019 report.
DAN found that while 56% of people in APAC countries are optimistic that digital technologies will have a positive impact on society, a significant minority of those surveyed—44%—have taken steps last year to reduce the amount of data they share online.
A quarter installed adblocking software last year (versus 27% globally) and 77% of APAC consumer said they would cease doing business with a brand that misused their data–this leaps to 86% in China.
The in-depth study, which surveyed more than 43,000 people from 24 countries, seeks to gauge the discrepancies in consumer’s interactions with the digital economy. Six APAC markets are part of the report: Singapore, China, India, Japan, Thailand and Australia.
The report examines four different ways in which digital technology serves consumers:
- Basic needs: access to digital and trust in data
- Psychological needs: improved health and well-being through digital
- Self-fulfilment needs: digital upskilling
- Societal needs: that digital will improve wider society
For APAC consumers specifically, DAN found just 28% believe digital is meeting psychological and well-being needs, against the global average of 38%. Singapore, which tops the global list in 2019 for digital readiness, has the lowest psychological need score of 25%. Moreover, 71% of APAC respondents felt the pace of technological change was too great, much higher than the global average of 57%.
Yet there are positives for brands in APAC, as 81% of people in APAC were more likely to shop online than last year, versus 76% globally. More broadly, 56% of APAC respondents believe digital technology will have a positive impact on society and solve serious challenges, compared to 45% globally.
With data misuse the biggest source of distrust for consumers, who at the same time are increasingly using digital products and services, brands need to find a middle ground between being more transparent with their consumers, while engaging them with better digital services.
“For Asia, this year’s Digital Society Index presents a tale of two halves,” said Takaki Hibino, executive chairman of Dentsu Aegis Network APAC. “There is great optimism about the future of technology and its ability to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. At the same time people’s trust in technology is waning and concerns about the pace of technological change are mounting.
“As digital technologies continue to reshape the skills and jobs of tomorrow, businesses need to build confidence in and help people develop their digital skills, as well as re-evaluate business processes against these changing dynamics.”
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