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New research reveals data privacy still a big worry for Kiwis

New Zealanders are becoming increasingly worried about their personal data privacy, according to a new InternetNZ survey.

52% of New Zealanders were revealed to be either 'extremely concerned' or 'very concerned' about the security of their personal details when used on the Internet. This figure is a jump up from 46% the previous year.

Hesitancy from Kiwis to put personal details online has been increasingly standard, with almost a third of New Zealanders saying their level of concern about using personal details online has increased over 12 months. Out of this cohort, 80% said they are less likely to use their personal details online because of this.

Identity theft was also seen to be a common problem that prevented Kiwis from disclosing personal information, with 66% of respondents are either 'extremely' or 'very concerned' about having their identity stolen.

Besides disclosing data, being tracked was also a top concern, with 63% of respondents saying they feared being tracked and using location services.

"More people chose to not use at least one online service because of privacy and security concerns in 2021. 66% of New Zealanders didn't feel the service was safe enough to trust it with their personal information, compared to 58% the year before," says InternetNZ Chief Executive, Jordan Carter.

"With the internet being a lifeline for many of us during the global pandemic - when online is often the only way to connect with others, make a living, pay the bills and make necessary purchases - privacy and personal information security become fundamentally important," he says.

Acting Privacy Commissioner, Liz MacPherson, says the growing concern about online privacy voiced in this survey highlights the need for organisations to retain people's trust and confidence by ensuring there are safeguards in place to prevent the loss, misuse or unauthorised disclosure of their personal information under the Privacy Act.

"Having an easy to understand privacy statement, that tells people how their personal information will be used, is an important part of giving people confidence that their personal information is well cared for," she says.

InternetNZ commissioned Colmar Brunton to conduct the survey and will continue to commission this research each year to demonstrate what people think today, and how their thinking changes over time.

The Privacy Act applies to almost every person, business and organisation in New Zealand. The Act includes privacy principles that guide how personal information can be collected, used, stored and disclosed.

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