The French demand more transparency from brands in their data – Barometer & Study > Techno & UX

Cisco, world leader in digital transformation, IT and networks, announced its annual survey on the perception of data privacy among consumers around the world. Conducted in 12 countries including France, the study shows that approx 8 out of 10 buyers make a direct link between a company’s processing of personal data and respect for its customers. So, transparency appears to be the absolute priority in the eyes of the French.

For consumers, trust rhymes with transparency

The French are 77% to believe that a company’s processing of personal data reflects the way it views and respects its customers. More than half of the French (55%) declare that they cannot effectively protect their personal data. Finally they are 38% to believe that the government should be the main actor in protecting their privacy.

To put their trust in a company, 32% of the French require simplified access to information about the use of their data and 30% declare that they do not wish to sell their personal information in any way.

Also read: Customer data: changes in perspective for French companies

Internationally, there is also a lack of trust

The study shows that 76% of consumers worldwide say they won’t buy products/solutions from a company they don’t trust to manage their data. 37% of them indicate that they have changed providers due to data privacy practiceswhereas 53% say they manage their cookie settings from a website before accepting them. Finally, 46% of people with voice-enabled devices say they regularly turn them off to protect their privacy.

In France, there is a strong need for support and clarity regarding the use of personal data by companies. valid, 59% of the French admit that they cannot fully read the general conditions before accepting them. In addition, the French want to be able to trust companies to personalize their privacy settings or risk looking elsewhere. So when a business can’t meet their privacy expectations, 25% of consumers in France say they switch service providers for privacy reasons.

“Companies need to explain their privacy practices in simpler terms and make them easily accessible so that all users understand what is happening with their data. It’s not just a legal obligation, trust depends on it,” said Harvey Jang, Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer at Cisco.

The French are willing and helpful, but still need convincing

More than one in two French people (55%) declares that it cannot effectively protect its personal data. The reasons mentioned are the impossibility of knowing what companies are doing with their data (83%) while 45% of French feel obliged to accept the way in which the data is used if they want to have the service offered by the company in question. more concerned, 43% feel that their personal data is still accessible. Transparency efforts are a key issue here to restore confidence.

Also read: 10 unprecedented uses of AI in retail

38% of the French believe that the government should play the role of data protector while 21% believe that guaranteeing confidentiality is the responsibility of companies. About 1 in 2 French people believes that laws on the protection of personal data have a positive effect. Another interesting fact is that French consumers have better knowledge of privacy laws (52%) than their German neighbors (46%), Italian (33%) and Spanish (28%). This leaves an opportunity for the government to propose new laws for the French people that are more accommodating than before.

Finally, a glimmer of hope exists regarding the reuse of personal data by the French because they are 18% have exercised their right of access, which consists of asking a company to withdraw the data it holds on them. In fact, even this share is relatively low compared to countries like India (59%) or Italy (26%), we can imagine that the French will be more aware of the data collected by third parties because this practice, which was unknown a few years ago, will gain momentum. Raising awareness of possible remedies for French people who want more visibility into their data will be one of the main drivers of renewed confidence.

Artificial intelligence and data privacy, an ambivalent relationship

The constant arrival of new technologies tends to make the French more skeptical of the idea of ​​entrusting their data to companies. In particular, artificial intelligence needs to prove itself. In fact, the French are quite optimistic about its benefits, 32% are convinced that it can be useful and one in two French people are willing to share their anonymized personal data to improve AI-based products. however, 52% of French say they are concerned about the use it will make and still need to be sure. Gaining the trust of the French will be a real challenge for companies using AI because the majority of respondents (63%) say that, so far, the use of AI has damaged their self-confidence. To be convincing, the French want to set ethical principles for AI (58%), that at least one person is involved in the AI ​​decision-making process (69%) and that this process is clearly explained (66%). Finally, 68% of French just want freedom to accept any use of AI or not.


This anonymous survey, conducted in 2022, analyzes the responses of 2,600 adults, including a representative sample of the French population of 200 people, in 12 countries (Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany , India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, United Kingdom and United States).

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