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Frustrations about lack of transparancy;
Opportunities for digital services which clearly specify the benefit of sharing relevant information

One in five people in Flanders say that in at least half of cases they read the terms and conditions as well as the privacy policy before they register anywhere online. There is a clear relationship with age here: one-quarter of over-55s state that they read the general terms and conditions at least half of the time.

What do most people do to protect their data? They refuse to allow access to their data, deliberately don’t download apps and make sure that the privacy settings for their social media and smartphone are how they want them to be. On the other hand, 19% say that they don’t do anything to protect their data.

In general, we can see that Flemings have a negative perception of how companies deal with their personal data. But it also seems that the majority of Flemings do respect their friends’ online privacy by asking permission first before sharing photos or information about them.

And half of the people in Flanders say that they have no problem with sharing their first name and last name. Dates of birth and marital status are also usually viewed as being less problematic types of data. However, people are very sensitive about sharing financial data and medical information. When deciding whether or not to share data with a company or a digital platform, people’s belief in receiving a better service plays a greater role than their frustration about businesses being less than transparent about their data policy.

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Eva Steenberghs