31/10/2020: Press release – Personal data and trust: changes in perceptions and uses following GDPR

[Download the Press Invitation (PDF - 585 Ko)]

Findings from an exclusive Institut Mines-Télécom study carried out with:

Institut Mines-Télécom's Values and Policies of Personal Information Chair joined forces with Médiamétrie to carry out a new study on how the French handle their personal data.

This survey was conducted in 2019 with the intention of following on from the one previously published in 2017*. It examined changes in the strategies implemented by users, digital identities and online shopping, as well as the perception of the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which came into effect on 25 May 2018.

Internet-users' personal data is often at the core of big tech companies' business models.  But to what extent and with what scope, are citizens willing to share their information? Under what conditions, and with whom? Must they accept the practices of these major companies, or have they developed new sets of behavior to prevent their personal data from being collected?  How do their new practices impact the way they express themselves online, search for information or buy products and services?

Among other things, our study revealed that French internet-users are even more vigilant online than they were a few years ago (54% were already vigilant in the 2017 survey). Among these users, over half categorically refuse to share their geo-location data and regularly clear their browsing history; and 57% of them feel that they are more monitored by private companies providing services, such as search engines, social media, e-commerce sites. But trust is a major economic issue: it is what ultimately determines a purchase. And our study confirms that those who protect themselves the most are those who buy the most.

Although the GDPR came into effect relatively recently, it seems to be well-known among the French population, with 78% of the internet-users surveyed reporting that they have heard of the text, and half saying they know what it deals with.

Its arrival has clearly contributed to public awareness about the wide-ranging issues relating to personal data.   As the French are better informed, their trust-based relationship with internet players has therefore been consolidated. But on the other hand, the study reveals mixed results in terms of the effectiveness of cookie consent banners and, as always, the ability to understand terms of use, which has been widely discussed.

The study confirms that the notion of personal data goes beyond the generally-accepted individual dimension. While bank details, identification documents, biometric data and health data are considered to be the most personal data, contact information and the list of friends and acquaintances comes in 5th and 6th place in the ranking. Personal data is therefore part of a broader social context, which raises the question of protecting interpersonal relationships and trust.

In addition, the prospect of consenting to personal data being reused in the public interest also appears to be a driver of commitment for 56% of those surveyed, with the first condition being the assurance that their data will be anonymized for 35% of them.

Lastly, in light of the current situation and changes in uses, this study reveals new concern among the French population about the use of smart objects and more specifically voice assistants. They also consider recommendation algorithms to be too intrusive.  

Whether on the national level observed, or the European and global level, much work therefore remains to be done on personal data and trust in the current digital economy.

As such, for Odile Gauthier, Executive Director of IMT, "The Values and Policies of Personal Information Chair, which deals with personal data and digital identities, is also very important in terms of defending European and French sovereignty. It helps restore and develop trust among companies and users of the digital world."

Didier Trutt explains, "The Chair has been a pioneer in the debate on digital identity since it was created in 2013. The intuition we collectively had about changes and issues relating to identity in the digital era has been largely confirmed. The expectations expressed in this survey show that  identity is above all a right, and not a service. For IN Groupe, the GDPR represents a turning point for developing a French and European model based on data protection and the right to digital privacy."

The publication of this study is also the occasion for the five partners of the Values and Polices of Personal Information Chair to reaffirm their commitment: IN Groupe, BNP Paribas, QWANT, Dassault Systèmes and the CNIL have renewed their partnership for 3 years, alongside Orange, Sopra Stéria and Fondation Mines-Télécom.  

Download the study and its summary on: https://cvpip.wp.imt.fr/2019/09/26/31-octobre-2019-18e-rencontre-deuxieme-enquete-cvpip-mediametrie/

Methodology of the study

*Sample of 2017 internet-users aged 15 and over, who are representative of the internet-using population. The representativeness of the sample was ensured through the quota method (sex, age group in 5 classes, socio-professional category in 5 classes and Paris region/other regions in France) based on a baseline survey of the internet-using population in France, the Internet Usage Observatory.

About Médiamétrie www.mediametrie.fr

Médiamétrie, a leader in media studies, observes, measures and analyzes public behavior and market trends and fosters the development of a media data reference in France. Founded in 1985, Médiamétrie is active in France and internationally in Television, Radio, Internet (computer, smartphone and tablet), Cinema and Cross-Medias. In 2018, the Médiamétrie group generated a revenue of €102.7 M.

Twitter: @Mediametrie  

Facebook: Médiamétrie

About the Values and Policies of Personal Information Chair (VPIP) www.informations-personnelles.org
Institut Mines-Télécom's first chair, the Values and Policies of Personal Information Chair, was inaugurated on 9 April 2013 in partnership with Imprimerie Nationale (which is now the IN Groupe), BNP Paribas, Dassault Systèmes, and in collaboration with the CNIL. Orange, Sopra Steria and Qwant have since joined the research program. This multidisciplinary chair is coordinated by Claire Levallois-Barth, assistant professor in law, and by research professors at Télécom Paris, Télécom SudParis and Institut Mines Télécom-Business School. The chair helps companies, citizens and public authorities in their reflection on the collection, use and sharing of personal information, i.e.  information about individuals (their personal lives, professional activities, digital identities, contributions on social media etc.) including information collected by the smart objects that surround them.  This information provided by individuals, or collected through traces of their activities and interactions, raises a number of questions in terms of social and economic value, control policy and regulation.

About IMT www.imt.fr 

Institut Mines-Télécom is a public institution dedicated to higher education and research for innovation in the fields of engineering and digital technology. Always attentive to the economic world, IMT combines strong academic and scientific legitimacy with close corporate relations and a unique positioning in the key transformations of the 21st century: digital technology, industry, energy and ecology. Its activities are carried out at Mines and Telecom graduate schools under the aegis of the Ministry for Industry and Electronic Communications and at two subsidiaries and partner institutions, whether associated institutions or through agreements. IMT is a founding member of the Alliance for the Industry of the Future. It is recognized by 2 Carnot Institute accreditations for the quality of its partner-based research. Every year, some 100 start-ups leave its incubators.

About Fondation Mines-Télécom www.fondation-mines-telecom.org

Fondation Mines-Télécom supports the development of IMT and its eight internal schools* in their missions of training, research and innovation. It brings together companies and alumni who wish to contribute to supporting practical and transformative projects with strong technological and societal impacts, within the fields of digital technology, energy and the industry of the future as well as solidarity initiatives for students, through the generous support of its 2,000 private donors.  Thanks to the generosity of its many corporate sponsors and its founding partners  (BNP Paribas, Nokia, Orange) and its graduates, Fondation Mines-Télécom finances around ten programs in the fields of training (scholarships, educational innovation program, MOOCs), research (funding for theses and teaching-research chairs), innovation (support for start-ups and incubation) and foresight, as well as actions in favor of campus development. The Foundation is currently carrying out a major fundraising campaign which has allowed it to raise nearly €35M since 2015.

* Télécom Paris, Télécom SudParis, Institut Mines-Télécom Business School, IMT Atlantique, IMT Lille Douai, IMT Mines Albi-Carnaux, IMT Mines Alès, Mines Saint-Etienne

Press contact

Institut Mines-Télécom

Séverine Picault

severine.picault@imt.fr : + 33 (0) 6 27 66 05 09

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