Dentsu’s Data Consciousness Project uncovers how Australians really feel about sharing their data

Published on:
  • New report surveys 3,900 Australians on their attitudes towards data privacy and technology advancements. 
  • Gen Z’s and Millennials are willing to share their data in exchange for food discounts, travel offers, and health advice. 
  • 78 per cent of younger Australians are wanting to participate in the Metaverse; many believe Meta (Facebook) is creating the Metaverse. 
  • One in five Australian Millennials would give data to online dating services in exchange for better quality potential partners. 
  • 78 per cent of Australians believe businesses need to demonstrate higher standards of ethical behaviour with the treatment of personal data. 

15 June 2022: Dentsu has launched its latest Data Consciousness Project report - the fourth of its kind in Australia – which examines how consumers feel about businesses accessing and leveraging their personal data. Surveying 20,000 people from across 14 countries in Asia Pacific, including 3,900 Australians, it is the most contextualised survey done on attitudes towards data privacy in the region. 

Trust, transparency, and the value exchange of data are key themes throughout the report. Similarly, the study highlights growing concerns around privacy and security, particularly towards new technologies and the development of the Metaverse. 

Businesses may see increasing challenges in incentivising consumers to part with their personal data, with 66 per cent of people across Asia Pacific expecting to be able to decline sharing any data without compromising the level of service they receive. 

However, young Australians are willing to share their personal information, including sensitive personal data, in exchange for benefits or societal good. 

Half of Australian Gen Z’s are willing to share their data with restaurants in exchange for discounts (59 per cent) or with pharmacies in exchange for health advice (47 per cent). One in five Millennials would also give online dating services access to all their online activity in exchange for better quality potential partners. Across Asia Pacific, 58 per cent of people are willing to have their carbon footprint tracked to help fight climate change. 

While Australians have become accustomed to sharing data and accepted personalisation as a marketing tactic, there continues to be growing concerns about privacy security. 

Over half (58 per cent) of Australians do not understand what companies do with their personal data, while 70 per cent are not aware of what personal information companies hold. 78 per cent of people are worried social media companies won’t protect their personal data, and 46 per cent of Gen Z’s believe the Metaverse will increase issues around privacy and security. 

While one-third (31 per cent) of all Australians have installed adblocking software on their devices to help protect themselves, 78 per cent of people believe the Government needs to play a bigger role in regulating the use of personal data by companies. 

The study also found 78 per cent of Australians believe businesses need to demonstrate higher standards of ethical behaviour with the treatment of personal data, and 55 per cent believe higher visibility on how often their data is used would increase trust. 

Christine McKinnon, Head of Intelligence for dentsu Solutions ANZ, says these insights should act as a key competitive lever for businesses. 

“We’ve been conducting the Data Consciousness Project since 2017 and have witnessed an interesting evolution in the way Australians feel about exchanging their data with businesses, and how this has correlates to brand sentiment, loyalty, and trust. 

“What started as a ‘data awakening’ in 2017 where people were only just starting to realise that their information was being shared for marketing purposes, has since shifted to people only sharing data if meaningful value is created for them or broader society. 

“In reviewing the trends, people generally feel that they have lost control of their data, but they also still want convenience and personalisation. Looking forward, it is likely people will only share the bulk of their information with businesses they trust. 

“One of the main causes of distrust in companies is the misuse of personal data, which is largely linked to a lack of transparency. Trust is the gateway to understanding your customers and those businesses who provide visibility on how, when, and why they use data will form deeper, more meaningful connections with their customers. 

“Australians, particularly young people, are willing to share their data and personal information if the value exchange is clear and if they know it will be handled safely. 

“At dentsu, we are working with our clients to identify ways that they can create shared value through data to build a long-term, sustainable brand. A great example of this is Merkle's digital transformation services built around helping companies make ethical choices around data. Our team help clients focus not just on what they could do, but what they should do.” said McKinnon. 

To view the 2022 dentsu Data Consciousness Project report, visit: 


For further information, contact: 

Lucy Povlsen 
Dentsu Communications
+61 411 251 933 

About dentsu international 

Part of dentsu, dentsu international is made up of six leadership brands - Carat, dentsu X, iProspect, Isobar, dentsuMB and Merkle and supported by its specialist brands. Dentsu International helps clients to win, keep and grow their best customers and achieve meaningful progress for their businesses. With best-in-class services and solutions in media, CXM and creative, dentsu international operates in over 145 markets worldwide with more than 46,000 dedicated specialists.