24 Sep 2020

The more we go online - to work, play, study, socialise and shop - the more we’ve come to care about our privacy and the security of our personal data.

In fact, 7 in 10 Australians consider the protection of their personal information to be a major concern in their life.

In the past year, more than half of us have had a problem with how our personal information has been used.

43% of us have been sent marketing we didn’t sign up for or have had trouble unsubscribing from.

One third of us have had information collected when it wasn’t needed, or without our consent.

And some of us weren’t able to access, update or delete information held about us.

62% of Australians are uncomfortable with businesses tracking our location through our web browser or mobile phone, with half considering it to be one of the biggest privacy risks.

We’re also worried about the risk of identity theft and data breaches.

84% say privacy is important when choosing a digital service.

And we think social media, search engines and apps are less trustworthy when it comes to protecting our personal information.

As parents, we’re more worried about our kids’ privacy than our own.

We’re also concerned about using biometrics, like fingerprints and facial images, with 66% of us reluctant to provide this information.

Half of us are comfortable sharing it with banks, airlines, and government services to verify our identity.

But we’re less comfortable sharing it with shops, pubs and clubs, and other businesses.

We’re not always sure how to protect our data privacy.

When we do take steps to protect it, we’re most likely to check websites are secure, clear our browser and search history, adjust social media privacy settings, and turn off GPS and location sharing.

We may even refuse to provide our information, use an app, or deal with an organisation.

COVID-19 has impacted our way of life, and half of Australians believe their privacy is more at risk.

47% of us are using new apps and digital services for news and entertainment, to work, or stay in touch. But since COVID-19, more of us are reading the privacy policy first.

60% of Australians agree that some privacy concessions must be made to combat COVID-19, so long as the changes aren’t permanent.

These are some of the Australian community’s attitudes towards privacy in 2020.

To read the full report, and find out more about protecting your personal information, visit oaic.gov.au/acaps2020