Fears of an impending backlash against companies exploiting consumers’ personal data have been heightened by a new report which claims the vast majority (92% ) of UK adults are uncomfortable sharing their data with social networks.
According to the Ernst & Young survey, people are becoming increasingly cautious when sharing data online, particularly on social networks, with only 8% of respondents saying they are happy to share their personal information on Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, and Tumblr.
Half of the respondents claimed their use of social networks has made them less open to sharing personal data and 40% now restrict all access to their personal data on social media sites.
Trust in search engines was even lower at 7% per cent, while only 5% said they trust mobile apps with personal data.
Bizarrely, more than half (55%) of respondents are more comfortable sharing their personal data with central government bodies such as the NHS, and HM Revenue & Customs, than private sector companies. This is despite the fact that the public sector has such a poor record in keeping data safe.
Just over a quarter of them said they would be happy to share their personal details with their energy provider, with just over 32% happy to share data with financial institutions, while only 20% said they would be happy for supermarkets to access their data.
EY UK & Ireland client service managing partner Steve Wilkinson said: “Despite well publicised government mis-steps towards data privacy, consumers still appear more willing to share personal data with public sector organisations.
“Our survey shows a shift in attitudes and practices towards how consumers treat their personal data, and the access they will allow to their data, both now and in future.”
Late last year, EY warned companies to stop burying their heads in the sand and prepare for the end of the “golden age” of customer data as consumers wake up to the value of their own personal information and become increasingly reluctant to hand it over.
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