A recent survey commissioned by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) data protection attitudes in the UK has found that only one in four people trust businesses with their personal information.
Just over half of respondents (53%) said they trusted High Street banks with their information and only 36% said they trusted Government departments, 32% for High Street retailers and 22% for internet brands.
Respondents concerns were focused on their information being stolen by criminals, used to make nuisance calls or sold to other companies for marketing.
With a clear awareness of the action they can take to protect their own personal data, seven in ten consumers said that they regularly check bank and credit card statements, while more than half keep their computer protected from viruses, shred personal documents, use different passwords for different online services and limit how much info they share on social media.
Information Commissioner Christopher Graham said:
“Consumers are taking up the fight to protect their own personal data. We all need the services offered to us by banks and shops and internet companies, even if we are perhaps not entirely trusting of what they are doing with our data, and so consumers are taking their own action to respond to that.
“This ought to be a real wake up call to some sectors. Consumer mistrust is never good for business.
“What’s more, if these customers’ concerns are well-placed, and organisations aren’t handling personal data properly they may be leaving themselves open to significant fines from the regulator.
“We’ve issued fines of more than £6million for data protection offences so far, and that’s only going to rise. New rules in place from 2018 give us the power to fine up to 4% of global turnover, which ought to focus the minds of any boardroom.”