Three quarters of UK consumers fear personal data snafus

Nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of UK consumers online are concerned about the level of protection given to the personal information they share with brands and organisations online.

This is according to a new survey commissioned by Informatica, the independent software provider. Following a string of high profile data breaches its report, ‘The State of the Data Nation’ research reveals that British consumers’ confidence in the ability of organisations to keep their personal data safe is worryingly low.

The online survey of more than 2,000 UK adults also revealed that:

  • 3 per cent of consumers are wary of how the personal information and data they have shared with brands online is being used.
  • In fact, more than half (56 per cent) of those who are concerned about the use of the personal data they have shared online with brands and organisations are reclaiming access to it and plan to share less information with brands or organisations over the next three years.
  •  Furthermore, over a third (38 per cent) of respondents claim that nothing could incentivise them to share personal information with brands or organisations online.

“It’s clear from this survey that there is a worrying disconnect between UK businesses and consumers when it comes to how their personal data is stored, shared and secured,” explains Greg Hanson, vice president business operations EMEA, Informatica.

“Brands and organisations need to address this as a matter of priority. That means putting strong data governance practices at the heart of their customers’ digital experience in order to win back their confidence. Data security is a crucial differentiator for organisations looking to redress the balance and offer maximum protection for personal information in the event of a breach.”

The study explored the UK’s attitudes to sharing data and the consequences of confidential information being exposed in a data breach.  It revealed:

  • Honesty is the best policy
    • Being transparent about how personal information is used (50 per cent), having a privacy policy in place (43 per cent) and quickly responding to any issues (38 per cent) are the top three things that enterprises can do to earn consumer trust.
  • The trust trade-off
    • Some customers are becoming more willing to share personal data for rewards.
    • In total, 22 per cent would continue sharing information if they received discounts and 16 per cent would do so if they received free access to a service, such as Wi-Fi.
  • The trusted parties
    • Consumers were the most trusting of employers (33 per cent), followed closely by financial services (31 per cent), government organisations (28 per cent) and utilities (22 per cent).
  • Communication is key
    • Interestingly, the biggest factor resulting in a consumer losing trust in a brand is not having more than one confirmed data breach  a year (56 per cent), but a lack of communication (62 per cent) following a breach.
  • The promise of temporary data for millenials
    • A total of 19 per cent like having control of how long friends and followers can view the likes of online comments and pictures, and one in ten are more comfortable sharing personal information when they know that it can’t be viewed forever.
    • Furthermore, the ability to control when personal information is automatically removed would incentivise 23 per cent of 18-24 year olds and 18 per cent of 25-34 year olds to share more.

“Sensitive and confidential data today is travelling at pace. It is imperative that brands and organisations alike gain insight into where customer data is proliferating and what its risk profile is”, continued Hanson. “Only then can organisations proactively protect sensitive data, improve breach resiliency, and turn the tide on consumer trust.”

The survey of 2,070 adults was commissioned by Informatica and completed by YouGov Plc. Fieldwork was undertaken between 26th – 27th October 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

Source: Informatica