Lies, damned lies and statistics; a new study beggars belief by claiming that financial services firms and public sector organisations are the most trusted by consumers when it comes to handling their personal data.
Both sectors dominate the Information Commissioner’s Office data protection complaints league, with lenders top on 12%, local government second on 11% and health third on 10% of complaints.
Meanwhile 48% of the 183,000 complaints about nuisance calls and texts made in 2014 were generated by financial services, including PPI, debt management, accident claims and banking.
The research – entitled “Trust in personal data: A UK review”, carried out by Digital Catapult and embodied in a Government report – surveyed 4,005 consumers aged 18-64.
It found that, in line with nearly all similar surveys, British consumers generally do not trust most organisations with their data and do not appreciate the benefits of sharing personal data.
Some 94% of those surveyed want more control of the data they share, how they share it and what they get for it; 65% were unsure whether their data was being shared without their consent; and a 66% admitted they were personally affected by use of their data.
The report’s authors said: “What is abundantly clear from this study is that respondents do not believe they benefit from sharing personal data with organisations. Instead, they believe it is only the organisations that are gaining from their data.”
Nearly 80% of respondents believe the primary use of personal data is for the economic gain of companies and other organisations. Only 21% said monetary gain would convince them to share their own data.
Private-sector companies are less trusted than the public sector with personal data. Some 44% said they trusted the public sector, while 30% believe the retail sector abuses personal data the most.
The authors said: “Financial services came second on both trust and benefits. This is undoubtedly a vertical maligned in the media – and one which has suffered a fall in consumer trust over the last few years. Yet financial services, with its continued investment into data-reliant services such as online and mobile banking and contactless payments, is a leader in trust in the use of personal data.”
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