So many Generation Z consumers have dormant online accounts

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New research has found more than three-fifths (62%) of Generation Z consumers in Singapore (60% globally) have online accounts they no longer use.

The study undertaken by Veritas Technologies, dubbed “In the Cloud, Out of Mind,” also revealed a perception gap among Generation Z that may correlate to having a higher number of unused online accounts: more than half (56%) in Singapore (51% globally) fail to recognise the environmental impact of the electronic versions of their account-related statements and other documents stored online. Yet nearly half (45%) in Singapore (44% globally) also said it’s wrong for businesses to waste energy and cause pollution by storing unneeded information online.

So many online accounts left unused

Andy Ng, Vice President and Managing Director of Asia South and Pacific Region at Veritas Technologies, said: “Today, we have multiple online accounts for almost everything. However, millions of these accounts likely go unused, particularly among the Generation Z demographic. This is concerning as the largely useless data then sits in data centres, which are mostly fossil fuel-powered, and generate unnecessary carbon footprint. In fact, data centres account for 2% of all global carbon emissions. While Generation Z is arguably deemed to be the most environmentally conscious generation, they are also, knowingly or not, leading the way among consumers in creating the most carbon emissions from unnecessary or unwanted data.

More Generation Z trends

The survey, which polled 13,000 consumers around the world, also uncovered the following related trends among Generation Z adults:

  • Nearly four-fifths (80% globally and in Singapore) have entertainment and shopping accounts they no longer use
  • More than half (53%) in Singapore (67% globally) have pay or work-related accounts they no longer use
  • Nearly half (45%) in Singapore (71% globally) have an internet service provider account they no longer use
  • Nearly half (44%) in Singapore (71% globally) have an online bank account they no longer use
  • More than a third (36%) in Singapore (62% globally) have a healthcare account they no longer useThe research shows that more than half (52%) of Generation Z consumers in Singapore (31% globally) have never tried to close their unused accounts. The most common reason is that it doesn’t matter to them personally (33% globally and 36% in Singapore). A third (33%) in Singapore (19% globally) said it’s because they may need it one day.

Ng added: “Unused data puts a tremendous strain on the planet. Eliminating data waste helps to reduce carbon emissions and protect our environment, and it seems that many consumers are unaware of this. Organisations should be more transparent in their data-related emissions and the efforts to help reduce them through better data management practices. All consumers, especially those in younger generations, need to start adopting a green lens to make responsible decisions about their online lives and digital footprints – or this issue risks escalating into a sustainability nightmare.”


The survey, conducted by 3Gem on behalf of Veritas, polled 13,000 consumers of all ages 18 and older across Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, the UAE, the UK and the US between February 1-16, 2023. For the purposes of this research, Generation Z refers to those aged 18-24.

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