A recent survey released by international data security company, Blancco Technology Group, shows that more than a quarter of consumers are concerned about the possibility that their devices will be compromised if they opt to trade it in. So concerned in fact that they outright refuse to trade it in or recycle it. Conducted in December 2018 and January 2019, the survey interviewed 1,000 consumers each from Germany, India, the Philippines, the U.K. and the U.S. The study, titled “The Critical Importance of Consumer Trust in the Second-Hand Mobile Market,” proves the need to maintain consumer trust if the secondary mobile device market is to meet current security expectations.
The survey revealed 40 percent of respondents would be quite concerned about data on their devices being accessed after a trade-in and would seek data security assurance. Meanwhile, another 26 percent said they would be so concerned they just wouldn’t trade in their used devices. Generally, the greatest levels of concern were found in India and the Philippines, where 46 percent and 32 percent, respectively, wouldn’t trade in their phones because of data worries.
Globally, the market for refurbished phones is expected to climb to $52.7 billion by 2022, reports Blancco. But fewer than half of consumers around the world have ever turned their old devices in for cash or credit. And in the U.S., a full one-third — 35 percent — have never even approached the idea of trading in their old devices.
Consumers are extremely familiar with security breaches, getting emails from brands that they’ve done business with, to change their passwords, or hearing that personal information including addresses and credit card numbers have been accessed from a company’s data base. Those experiences may be fueling the thoughts expressed by 68 percent of respondents in the U.S., who said if there were more strident rules in the market to protect their data on an old device, they might be more willing to trade them. Blancco pointed to the fast growth of the secondary phone market but said data security concerns are holding the industry back from its full potential.