Mobile Customers Split On Personal Data Collection For Government Use: KPMG Study

KPMG found the vast majority, however, are not comfortable with mobile carriers collecting their personal information for other uses

According to the 2016 KPMG Consumer Loss Barometer, in surveying 449 consumers, KPMG (No. 16 on the DiversityInc Top 50 Companies list) found that 49 percent would stay with their current mobile carrier if they found out that the carrier was working with the government to monitor mobile usage in search of terrorist activities.


"With today's global uncertainty and the fear that Americans can be placed in harm's way at any moment, it's not surprising that nearly half of consumers would be comfortable with, and even expectant of, the government monitoring mobile usage in order to catch terrorists before they act," said Paul Wissmann, National Sector Leader for KPMG LLP's Media and Telecommunications practice.

"However, what consumers should be wary of is if the government, or a mobile carrier, begins collecting our personal information for reasons beyond protecting our physical safety. Doing so can directly lead to consumer outrage and can be devastating to mobile carriers' bottom line."

In fact, according to the survey, if consumers discovered that their mobile carriers were simply accumulating personal information for other reasons without their knowledge, 82 percent would leave their carrier for one that guarantees they will limit or abolish this practice.

To see more about the 2016 Consumer Loss Barometer report, along with videos of Paul Wissmann on the related topics, visit https://info.kpmg.us/consumer-loss-barometer/mobile.html.

Other Key Findings:

- When asked whether they are concerned that their personal information could be stolen through their mobile device or laptop when using public Wi-Fi, 68 percent of consumers indicated that they would be somewhat or extremely concerned.

- When asked whether they are concerned that their personal information could be stolen through their mobile device when using mobile pay apps, 66 percent of consumers indicated that they would be somewhat or extremely concerned.

- When asked whether they are concerned that their personal information could be compromised if their laptop or mobile device was physically stolen, 63 percent of consumers indicated that they would be somewhat or extremely concerned.

"Unfortunately, in today's technology-driven world, having your personal information compromised through your mobile device, computer or even credit card is considered commonplace," said Mike VanDenBerg, KPMG LLP's Mobile Cybersecurity Leader. "A few years ago, consumers would shrug it off and claim it would never happen to them, but now people are starting to feel more guarded. Mobile carriers would be wise to invest heavily in cybersecurity defense measures and transparent privacy options to make consumers feel safer."

The Consumer Loss Barometer, a survey and report of consumers and CIO, CISO, CTO and CIOs, details how consumers of internet-enabled services would react in the event of a hack against key consumer industries. The consumer data was then matched up to the reactions of the cyber security executives across those identified industries on how each is preparing for cyber-attacks.

A visual representation of the mobile data from the KPMG Cyber Consumer Loss Barometer:

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