The average Australian household is now tracking almost every aspect of their life on a daily basis, from what they eat to what they buy, the National Broadband Network (NBN) has revealed.
But the NBN has also revealed that Australians are also paying more for the same service.
This year, Australian households have spent an average of $3,939 per household on tracking devices and in-app purchases compared to $2,879 per household last year, the NBN said.
However, the average NBN customer also pays more for a tracking device than a non-NBN customer, with a median price tag of $6,959 compared to an average $4,521 for a non‑NBN device.
The average NBN consumer also pays $6.2 per month more than a dual-SIM dual-line smartphone customer.NBN customers are also the biggest users of in-home telephones, paying an average fee of $5.3 per month for in-line calls.
“It’s really difficult to track down an exact price on this, because there are so many different services out there,” NBN Co’s CEO Bill Morrow said.
“If you’re looking at the cheapest option, then it is a phone, and if you’re a dual SIM, then that’s probably the one that’s going to be the most expensive.”
So, for instance, if you have a dual phone, you might not be able to afford the price of an in-house telephony.
“The average Australian phone user pays $15.5 for in voice calls, $7.9 per month to access the phone’s data, and $10.2 for voice calls and texts.
Nbn customers are the biggest consumers of in real-time financial advice, spending an average premium of $14.3 a month.
However they are also among the least likely to have access to online banking services, paying just $4.6 for online banking.
The NBN said it also highlighted some of the factors that led Australians to spend more on tracking services in 2018.
Natalie Whelan from the University of Queensland said Australians were spending more on mobile services than ever before.”
We’ve seen an increase in mobile phone use in Australia, particularly in the last 12 months,” she said.”[We] also have more data available in mobile devices than ever.
“There’s a lot of people who have a lot more information available in their phone and they’re using it.”
“The way we’ve moved from a surveillance state, where it was really about getting your location to a surveillance economy where it’s about tracking your location, it’s also about data-mining of the information that you have on you and then using that information to target advertising.”
Ms Kynan from Monash University said Australia’s high reliance on mobile phones for surveillance had a significant impact on people’s everyday lives.
“In a way, the government has been able to get away with these practices because we don’t have a proper debate about what data is being collected, how that is used, and why,” she told AAP.
“As a result, people’s privacy is under pressure.”AAP