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More Aussies comfortable giving out personal info online—despite increased concern for privacy

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 – June 2014, sample = 16,809 Australians 14+

The proportion of Australians who are comfortable giving personal and credit card details over the internet has increased steadily since 2011—but, perhaps conversely, more of us are concerned about invasion of privacy through new technology.    

In the year to June 2014, 23% of Australians (14+) agreed they were comfortable giving personal details over the internet (up 4% points since June 2011), 34% were comfortable giving out credit card details online (up 3% points), but 2 in 3 of us (67%) are worried about invasion of privacy through new technology (up 2% points).

Our rising comfort level with submitting credit card numbers and personal information online clearly has a lot to do with increasing internet usage. 12.3m Australians 14+ (64%) now use the internet more than once a day: 46% of these frequent users are comfortable giving out credit card details and 31% are fine with putting personal details online. Even regular once-a-day internet users are only around half as likely as frequent users to agree with either statement, with those online a few times a week, or between once month and once a week, each successively less likely again to be comfortable.

However, while comfort increases dramatically with familiarity, concern for privacy is much steadier across the groups: 65% of the most frequent internet users now say they are worried about invasion of their privacy through new technology, compared 71% of daily or ‘few times a week’ users, and 73% of weekly to monthly users.     

Comfort and concern by frequency of internet use

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), July 2013 – June 2014, sample = 16,809 Australians 14+

Just 54% of people who bought a product online within the last four weeks agree they are comfortable sending credit card details via the internet. Perhaps in the new digital age convenience is trumping, rather than alleviating, our worries. We may not always like typing in our credit card of mobile number, but we do it anyway.

Tim Martin, General Manager - Media, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The recent hacking and theft of celebrities’ personal files from Apple’s iCloud storage system has again raised questions about internet privacy and security, and just how much faith we put in new online technologies for the sake of convenience.

“Announced last week, the iPhone 6 incorporates technology that will potentially allow owners to use their mobiles as a credit card to tap and pay.

“Our research shows that Apple computer users are much more comfortable giving out credit card details or personal information, but they only slightly less worried about invasion of privacy than average.   

“As well as frequency af use and familiarity, age plays a big part in our attitudes to privacy. Generation X and Baby Boomers are more concerned about privacy than average, while Generation Y is the most comfortable giving credit card and personal information over the internet with only around average concern for privacy.

“However people aged either under 20 or over 80 share a similarly below average level of concern for invasion of privacy through new technology: the older group in large part because they don’t use it; but the younger group, having grown up with internet access as the norm, may be finding ways to manage privacy risks through more careful consideration of what information they release, how they store it or share it, and what trusted sites and apps they access.” 

For comments or more information please contact:

Tim Martin, General Manager – Media
Telephone: +61 (3) 9224 5116

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About Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is the largest independent Australian research company, with offices in each state of Australia, as well as in New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom. A full service research organisation specialising in omnibus and syndicated data, Roy Morgan Research has over 70 years’ experience in collecting objective, independent information on consumers.

Margin of Error

The margin of error to be allowed for in any estimate depends mainly on the number of interviews on which it is based. Margin of error gives indications of the likely range within which estimates would be 95% likely to fall, expressed as the number of percentage points above or below the actual estimate. Allowance for design effects (such as stratification and weighting) should be made as appropriate.

Sample Size

Percentage Estimate



25% or 75%

10% or 90%

5% or 95%