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Payments vs Privacy

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According to a report by KPMG International, 55 percent of consumers globally said they had decided against online shopping due to privacy concerns. Furthermore, less than 10 percent of consumers feel that they have control over the way organisations handle and use their data. 

“An executive would be at risk of being fired if half their customer base disappeared after they made a crucial business decision,” said Nathan Desfontaines, KPMG’s Cyber Security Manager in South Africa. “Failure to imbed privacy into the DNA of their business strategy could ultimately lead to the extinction of a business given how closely consumers and regulators alike are paying attention to how organisations collect, store and use personal data.”

‘Creepy’ versus ‘cool’

When it comes to the global attitudes on the usages of personal data, consumers draw the line in dramatically different places.

What one consumer finds ‘creepy’ …

·         82 percent are not comfortable with the sale of their data to third-parties in exchange for the speed, convenience, product range, home delivery and price comparison that online shopping offers

·         55 percent said a free fitness tracking device that monitors the well-being of users and produces a monthly report for them and their employer is crossing the line

Another finds cool…

·         78 percent think telematics devices that enable emergency services to track their customers’ vehicles are a good thing

·         57 percent are happy to have a smart energy meter installed that enables a provider to deduce how many people live in a home, when they eat and sleep, and the appliances used

While concerns around the “creepy line” vary, the overall top three concerns about the way organisations are handling and using their personal information were: unwanted marketing; personal information being sold on to third-parties and lack of secure systems. The survey found that strong cyber security systems (32 percent) are the most effective thing an organisation can do for customers to trust them with their personal data.

Data sharing

Over half of survey respondents said they were willing to share their gender, education or ethnicity online, while a considerably lower proportion were happy to share more sensitive information, such as location (16 percent), address (14 percent) or medical records (13 percent).

Consumers are increasingly taking matters into their own hands, with half of survey respondents saying they already delete their internet browser cookies or manage their social media settings. Almost one-third even use incognito or ‘do not track’ modes, while a quarter percent use encryption.

Other global highlights           

·         57 percent of people fail to read, or only skim, privacy policies on entering websites

·         Unwanted marketing (59 percent) was cited as consumers’ top concern about businesses using their personal data, followed by their data being sold to third-parties (58 percent) and organisations having unsecure systems (55 percent)

·         Over two-thirds of people are not comfortable with smart phone and tablet apps using their personal data

·         In all markets but one, at least 75 percent of respondents said that they were uneasy with their online shopping data being sold to third-parties.

Regional findings

·         In Spain, 55 percent of respondents said they have no control over the way organisations handle and use their personal data

·         Only 31 percent of consumers in Malaysia said that they had sufficient or full control over the way their personal data was handled and used

·         UK is the country most worried about unwanted marketing

·         Survey respondents in India are the most likely to manage social media privacy settings, and regularly change user names and passwords

·         Respondents in Germany (78 percent), China (72 percent) and Switzerland (70 percent) are the most likely to know their online shopping data is sold to third-parties

For companies seeking to use personal data to personalise their marketing and services to the individual, build brand loyalty and develop better products, it is important that they understand that although opinions on privacy vary around the globe, it is clear that, more than anything, consumers value privacy over convenience.

“Understanding the value exchange between access to personal information and trust has never been more important than it is today,” said Desfontaines. “I truly believed that everyone would take a free TV no matter what. But clearly transparency is the strongest currency for any business.”

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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