Indian consumers are the most willing in the world to trade personal information like address and consumption habits compared for online convenience, according to a study by technology firm EMC.

As per the study released today, 61 per cent of respondents from India said they were willing to trade privacy for greater online convenience. India is followed by respondents from Middle East and China/Hong Kong (54 per cent each), Mexico (49 per cent) and Brazil (47 per cent), while those in Germany emerged as the least willing (36 per cent).

The study tapped into privacy attitudes of 15,000 consumers from 15 countries including India, Brazil, Italy, Japan, the U.S., Netherlands and Canada, among others.

“India is a relative new comer to the Internet world and everyone is lapping it up, and therefore there is greater willingness to share and trade information for better services from consumer and e-commerce sites,” EMC Corporation President India and SAARC Rajesh Janey told reporters here.

Another reason is the social fabric since Indians are used to living in joint families and neighbours are a part of the extended family and so there is greater comfort in sharing information in and around us.

“There is also this ‘We Want it All’ paradox as consumers want all conveniences and benefits of digital technology and yet are unwilling to trade privacy to get them. When it comes to sharing personal details for greater online convenience, Indians are more willing compared to other countries,” he elaborated.

Further, the study points out that although privacy risks directly impact many consumers, most say they take virtually no special action to protect their privacy, instead placing the onus on those handling their information such as government and businesses.

Alarming number of Indian respondents (about 64 per cent) respondents said they have suffered a data breach (email or social media account hacked, mobile device lost or stolen) and yet 41 per cent said they do not change passwords regularly.

About 28 per cent do not have password protection on mobile devices, while 21 per cent said they do not read privacy statements before signing up for a service. About 21 per cent said they do not customise privacy settings on social networks.

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