Faltering Consumer Trust Creates Window of Opportunity for Mobile Operators

Jul 12, 2018

The Facebook data scandal has not only eroded consumer trust in social media platforms, but also in digital services companies such as Netflix, Spotify, and Skype. More than 50% of consumers are now less likely to share personal data with digital services companies, with 66% of consumers stating that they would prefer to pay for services if it meant more control. This is putting “freemium” business models at risk, and opening new opportunities for alternative digital players including mobile operators.

A new study from Openet surveyed 1,500 consumers across the UK, US, Brazil, and The Philippines on their perceptions of digital services companies and mobile operators following the recent data scandal. The survey highlighted several further consequences for digital service companies around consumer confidence in sharing personal data:    

  • Trust eroded– 76% of consumers surveyed plan to increase digital account privacy settings, with potentially millions globally deleting an account because of the scandal
  • Calling for improved privacy processes– 87% of consumers surveyed do not think selling data to third parties is an acceptable business practice, 86% want more transparency around data use practices
  • Operator opportunity– 56% of consumers surveyed now see their operator as more trustworthy than a digital services company

Mobile Operator Opportunity

Despite diminished trust among digital natives, mobile operators have not been subject to the same fate. Over half of the consumers surveyed now trust their operators more than digital service companies, citing the historical protection of their data as the key reason for this. In fact, an overwhelming number of consumers (92% ) said that they’d be open to using mobile operator-delivered digital services as long as they are transparent about data processes.