Digital technologies adoption high among women,rural and young users:CUTS survey

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New Delhi :CUTS International recently conducted a consumer perspective study to understand perception, experience and expectations of users with respect to digital technologies. 2160 internet users were interviewed across 6 states in the country. It was found that more females, rural and young users are using internet than ever before.

Most popular uses are social media, communication and entertainment, but new users do not use internet for sophisticated purposes like e-commerce, mobility, food delivery, as yet, the survey revealed.

Most Users expect service providers to use the information only for the purposes it was collected (purpose limitation) but don’t think service providers follow this practice. The expectations make up around 60 percent of responses thus clearly dispelling the myth that users don’t value privacy and data protection survey revealed.

It was also found that different users perceive different information differently. For instance, most users are not comfortable in sharing financial details, females are not comfortable in sharing email IDs and urban users are not comfortable in sharing communication history and location.

Many users not comfortable in sharing address, contact details and browsing history. Despite being uncomfortable, around 15 percent users share sensitive information with service providers, perhaps to receive benefits of digital technologies. Reputation of service provider is the most important confidence building factor of users for data sharing.

Most users think service providers use data collected to provide better services and undertake targeted advertising and perceive unauthorised data collection as the biggest risk. Despite not being fully comfortable in data sharing and being aware about potential risks, users are not capacitated enough to protect their privacy and data.

Only around 11 percent users claim to read privacy policies and of those who claim, only 2 percent claim to fully understand. Key reasons are length, legalese and language Users are also unable to use data protection tools for their benefits owing to limited capacity and complicated nature of such tools.

CUTS recommended that regulatory reforms bridging information asymmetry between users and service providers about the data collection and use practices are need of the hour. Grievance redress and user compensation policies also need to be strengthened. Also, capacity of users need to be built to uphold their privacy and protect their data.

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