Data Privacy Survey: Acceptance in 2020 grows with sharing personal information online, but wariness still remains

  1. A significant decline in concern regarding sharing of personal information online among Irish population according to our Annual Survey.
  2. The drop in concern is most notable among those aged 55+, suggesting increased usage of digital communication during the pandemic may have softened views.
  3. However, Irish people are still more wary than global average about privacy practices of data collectors, and less aware of how personal information is used.


WIN International, the world’s leading association in market research and polling, has published the Annual WIN World Survey (WWS – 2020) exploring the views and beliefs of 29,252 individuals among citizens from 34 countries across the globe about technology. The survey analyzes views and opinions related to developing technology and its effects on people’s lives.


Comfort with sharing personal information online

  1. Almost half of Irish people (46%) say that they are concerned about sharing their personal data online – a decline of -8% from 2019 to 2020, placing Ireland close to the global average (45%).
  2. This decline has been driven mainly by a decline in concern among older people: just over four in ten (42%) of those aged 55+ say they are concerned about sharing their data online compared to well over half (56%) a year ago.
  3. Despite a significant drop since 2019, those aged 35-54 are still more concerned about sharing their personal information than younger or older age groups.

Concern with practices of data collectors

  1. Just over one in five (21%) people in Ireland say they are fine with the privacy practices of most data collectors, with no significant differences across age, social grade, or region, which suggests there is room to improve in this area across the total population.
  2. Irish people are on average less concerned about the practices of data collectors than the global average (25%).

Is sharing personal information necessary nowadays?

  1. The number of people who think that sharing personal information is necessary nowadays has increased in the past year, up from 18% in 2019 to 22% in 2020.
  2. This change is driven mainly by men, higher social grades, and those living in Rest of Leinster and Muster.
  3. This places Ireland at the global average (22%).

Awareness of data collectors’ use of personal data

  1. Just over one in five (21%) Irish people believe they know what happens with their personal data after it is shared with a data collector, with this again broadly the case across gender, age, and social grade.
  2. This places Ireland significantly below the global average (27%).


 Sinead Mooney, Managing Director of RED C Research, said:

“In 2020 we saw a move to digital where possible.  This change in behaviour has resulted in a greater level of acceptance with sharing personal information online.  However, there remain concerns about whether sharing of personal information is necessary and the privacy practices of data collectors.  There is room for a greater level of transparency among data collectors, in order to build trust and confidence in an increasingly digital world”.



Sharing Personal Information Digitally: Almost Half of the Global Population is Concerned

Sharing personal information digitally

  1. Overall, 45% of the global population is concerned about sharing their personal information digitally, a percentage that decreases only by two points compared to last year.
  2. Among women, the percentage decreases from 49% to 47%, and among men from 46% to 43%.
  3. More than half of people in the American continent (54%) feel concerned about sharing their information digitally. The share of concerned people in other areas of the world remains significant: in APAC region 45% are concerned about sharing personal information digitally, and in Europe 43%. Interestingly, the Africa region experienced a very significant drop of 22 points compared to last year (from 50% to 28%).
  4. Two of the countries with the highest levels of concerns are in Latin America: people in Brazil (72%) and Chile (61%) are concerned most about sharing their information digitally, while Pakistan (30%), Nigeria and the Palestinian Territories (28% each) are the countries with the lowest levels of concern.


Necessity of sharing personal information

  1. On a global level, the perception of how necessary it is to share personal information nowadays is consistent compared to last year (22%), while 30% of respondents do not consider it necessary, + 3% points compared to 2019.
  2. When looking closely at different employment categories, 20% among students consider that sharing personal information is necessary, falling 6 points compared to 2019. The African continent suffered a drop of 8% compared to last year (from 32% to 24%), while Europeans seem to believe it is necessary to share personal data slightly more compared to the previous measurement (17% to 19%).
  3. South Korea (10%), Peru (9%) and France (8%) are the countries where people agree the least with the importance of sharing personal information. Interestingly, in Nigeria, the need to share personal information dropped considerably (from 40% in 2019, to 24% in 2020).


Fine with the privacy practices of most data collectors asking for my personal information

  1. Almost a third of the surveyed population disagrees with the privacy practices of most data collectors, and people aged 55 and over are those who express their disagreement most.
  2. When looking at differences between countries, the data about Argentina stand out: almost half of Argentineans (48%) are not fine with the privacy practices of most data collectors asking for personal information.


What happens with personal information after it is shared with a data collector?

  1. Even though people seem to have strong opinions on whether it is necessary to share personal information online, it is difficult to truly understand what happens after it is shared with data collectors. When asked about it, 27% of the population admit knowing what happens with their data, but another 27% doesn’t know how it will be used or where.
  2. People who are less aware about how data collectors use their data are 3% more than last year.
  3. In particular, 30% of people in APAC mentioned they know what happens with their personal data after it is shared, +3% points compared to 2019. On the other hand, results in Africa show a decrease of 2 points (from 29% to 27%).
  4. Japan (12%), Finland (11%) and South Korea (4%) show the lowest results, meaning that a vast majority declares that they don´t know what happens with their data after they share it.


Vilma Scarpino, President of WIN International Association, said:

The WIN World Survey highlights important trend and attitudes towards the usage of personal information in the digital world. A significant share of the population is concerned about the privacy of their data, and less people compared to last year find it necessary to share them online. However, what stands out the most is that almost a third of the global population is not aware about the use that data collectors make of their personal information. It becomes clear how transparency could play an important role in improving people’s awareness first, but also trust and confidence. Once costumers are more informed, they could also become increasingly more loyal.”



Media enquiries:


Sinead Mooney, Managing Director, RED C Research

Derek Bell, Project Manager, RED C Research




Elena Crosilla, WIN Coordinator

+39 335.62.07.347



The survey was conducted in 34 countries using CAWI / online survey methods.

Sample Size and Mode of Field Work:

A total of 29,252 people were interviewed. See below for sample details. The fieldwork was conducted during October 21st and December 15th, 2020. The margin of error for the survey is between 4.4 and 2.5 at 95% confidence level.

The global average has been computed according to the covered adult population of the surveyed countries.

In Ireland, a representative sample of over 1000 adults were conducted online. Fieldwork was conducted in November 2020.

Download the reports below:

WIN World Survey – Data Privacy – Press Release – May 2021

WIN World Survey – Data Privacy – Irish Summary Results – Final