UK consumers uncomfortable with location-based services

Most consumers in the UK would not be comfortable with businesses accessing their location data in exchange for improved services.

Even assuming location-based services improved customer service, 61% of UK respondents said they were uncomfortable with the idea, compared to 16% said there were comfortable with the prospect.

"Although many UK consumers use location-based services such as Foursquare in their daily personal lives, when brands use [location-based services] LBS it is seen in a very different light by consumers," remarked Ovum analyst Ian Jacobs. "Pervasive concerns about privacy [are] driving the mindsets of UK consumers who feel their location data may be misused by businesses."

Location-based services have gained some traction in the US. Users of service named ShopKick allow retailers including Macy’s, BestBuy and Target to detect their smartphone when they are in store, in exchange for on-the-spot discounts and offers. This data permits retailers to analyse the behaviour of in-store shoppers. 

However, Jacobs says that businesses will have to become much more transparent in order to earn the consumer trust required to implement LBS in the UK.

The report also found that 73% of consumers are "doubtful" about using social media sites to receive customer support.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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