Data privacy awareness grows in Brazil

Users want more control over how their information is handled in digital platforms, according to a new study

The level of awareness and concerns over data privacy online is growing in Brazil, with more users looking to increase control over how their data is handled, according to new research.

According to a global study on data privacy by cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, 74% of Brazilian Internet users polled have reported trying to remove their personal data from websites and social media platforms.

However, 24% of respondents in Brazil reported not knowing how to go about removing personal information that is available online, according to the research, which polled over 15,000 consumers across 23 countries.

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Brazilian consumers have also reported concerns not only in relation to the security of their own information, but also that of their loved ones. Some 19% of survey participants said that their personal data or information about family members was made publicly available without their consent.

The majority of Brazilians polled reported taking additional steps while browsing the web to hide their information: 58% do so in order to hide their data from cybercriminals, while 35% take measures to ensure websites they browse don't get access to their data, with 33% saying they adopt procedures to ensure other people with whom they share the same device are not able to see their personal details.

When it comes to the devices they use on a daily basis, like smartphones, 26% of the survey respondents said they are "very concerned" with the collection of private information by applications installed on their mobile devices.

Most Brazilians believe companies don't protect their personal data, according to a separate survey published in December 2019. According to the research by The Harris Poll carried out for IBM, 96% of Brazilians believe companies don't do enough to protect their personal information.

According to the research, 5 in 10 Brazilian consumers know that their information is always, or often shared with other organizations they are unaware of. Some 81 percent of Brazilians admitted to having lost control in terms of how their data is being used by companies and more than half know someone who has been a victim of a data leak or have been through such situations themselves.