Half of British consumers think their data is at risk

Author

Sophie Curtis

February 25, 2015

As issues around data loss, theft and surveillance continue to hit the headlines, data privacy now represents a significant concern for consumers

Almost half of UK consumers are worried their personal data is not safe, according to new research, with 59pc claiming to have experienced a data protection issue in the past.

According to Symantec’s 2015 State of Privacy Report, 53pc of people avoid posting personal data online in order to protect their privacy, while one in three people give fake personal data so that their real information remains private.

Across the EU, consumers believe that retailers and social media companies are the least trusted, with less than a quarter of British consumers claiming to trust retailers to keep their information safe. In contrast, medical institutions, followed by banks, are the most trustworthy with personal data.

Despite this, online shopping is still growing, and only one in five take the time to read terms and conditions in full before sharing their personal information. Meanwhile, 36pc of online users say they are willing to trade in their email address for monetary benefits.

However, Symantec warned that it is just a matter of time until security concerns cause a reduction in this type of online activity.

Peter Cochrane, an industry analyst, said: “Customers will certainly migrate to those companies and services that they consider to be safest.”

“In the future, I believe customers will move on from searching out the best deal to form ‘buying tribes’ and leverage their knowledge to promote joint purchasing power from those businesses that they trust the most.”

The research also suggests that consumers are beginning to understand the value of their data, with over 55pc of those surveyed believing that their data is worth over €1,000 (£733), and 8pc valuing their information at over €10,000.

Data security was rated by respondents as just as important as high quality products and services when choosing who to shop with, and the majority feel it is not fair that companies profit from trading in their personal data.

Ilias Chantzos, senior director of Symantec Government Affairs for Europe, said: “Businesses need to be more transparent with customers on how they are keeping data secure,” said

“Security needs to be embedded into a company’s value chain, but it should also be viewed internally as a customer-winning requirement, and not just a cost.”

This article was written by Sophie Curtis from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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